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OF    THE 

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a  * 



Copyright,  1899,  by  H.  B.  Cushman 

(All  rights  reserved.) 




To  the  memory  of  my  parents,  Calvin  and  Laura  Cush- 
man,  as  Heralds  of  the  Cross  of  Christ,  they,  with  a  few 
other  congenial  spirits,  left  their  homes  in  Massachusetts, 
A.  D.  1820,  as  missionaries,  and  went  to  the  Choctaw  Indian*, 
then  living-  in  their  Ancient  Domains  east  of  the  Missisipr.i 
River.  'Devoted  their  lives  to  the  moral  and  intellectual 
improvement  and  spiritual  interests  of  that  peculiar  and  in 
teresting  race  of  mankind,  living-  and  dying-  the  sincere  and 
abiding  friends  of. the  Red  Man  of  the  North  American  Con 



To  the  Choctaw  and  Chickasaw  people,  each  the  novv- 
feeble  remnant  of  a  once  numerous,  independent,  contented 
and  happy  people,  whose  long  line  of  ancestry  dates  back  to 
the  pre-historic  ages  of  the  remote  past,  it  is  ascribed  in 
loving  remembrance  of  the  writer's  earliest  and  most  faith 
ful  friends,  whom  he  has  a  just  cause  to  cherish  for  their 
many  long  known  and  tested  virtues. 


Iii  compliance  with  current  copyright 

law,  U.  C.  Library  Bindery  produced 

this  replacement  volume  on  paper 

that  meets  the  ANSI  Standard  Z39.48- 

1984  to  replace  the  irreparably 

deteriorated  original. 



To  bring  one's  material  to  a  strictly  historical  and  clas 
sified  order  is  almost  an  impossibility  when  dealing"  with  a 
.subject  so  diversified  as  that  of  the  Red  Race  of  the  North 
American  Continent.  But  I  have  sought,  found  and  brought 
together  an  amount  of  information  concerning  that  pecu 
liar  people  that  has  never  before  been  published;  having 
been  born  of  parents  who  were  missionaries  to  the  Choc- 
taws  in  1820,  and  having  been  reared  among  them  and  in 
timately  acquainted  with  them  during  the  vicissitudes  of  a 
life  extending  to  nearly  four  score  of  years.  I  well  know 
ihat  the  Indian  race  has  oft  been  the  subject  of  the  pen,  and 
still  continues  to  be,  but  only  in  short  details,  thus  leaying 
vthe  reader  in  bewilderment,  though  historical  truths  were  to 
be  found  in  abundance  among  them  wherever  one  turned  — 
truths  one  can  never  forget;  scenes  and  events  which  have  an 
imperishable  memory. 

Then  come  awhile  with  me,  reader,  from  what  you  have 
hitherto  learned  about  the  Red  Man  of  this  continent,  to  that 
which  may  be  entirely  ;new  to  you  no  matter  how  old  it  may. 
be  to  others;  'since  you  might  learn  something  more  of  the 
primitive  influences  which  shaped  the  career  of  the  North 
American  Indians  in  their  dealings  with  the  White  Race  from 
their  first  acquaintance  to  the  present  day;  as  I  have  endeav 
ored  to  present  many  based  upon  knowledge  acquired  by  a 
personal  acquaintance  with  two  tribes  (closely  allied)  dur 
ing  a  protracted  life  of  many  years,  seeing  and  learning  the 
romance  and  poetry  of  their  natures,  a  people  of  interest, 
moral  worth  and  individuality  of  character.  I  know  that  to 
all  my  race,  the  Indian  (comparatively  speaking)  lives  only  in 
the  vague  memory  of  the  legendary  past  —  that  period  made 
vivid  by  the  wrongs  of  the  White  Race  perpetrated  upon  the 
Red  —  all  a  series  of  struggles  terminating  in  sanguinary 
executions  when  no  services  rendered  by  the  tribe  in  their 
vain  struggle  to  be  free,  availed  to  save  the  defeated  Chieftain 
from  a  felon's  grave;  while  the  feeble  remnant  that  still  sur 
vives  stands  as  the  best  commentary  of  their  wrongs,  while 
they  despairingly  cry  ''kill  us  also,  and  thus  complete  your 
cruelty  by  taking  our  lives  as  you  began  with  our  liberties." 

Truly,  wrhat  a  sad  and  melancholy  record  is  their  his 
tory;  undervalued  by  the  civilized  world,  though  in  op 
position  to  the  declarations  of  all  who  knew  them  as  justice 
demanded  they  should  be  known.  Alas,  broken-hearted  for 


two  centuries,  yet  having  their  souls  pierced  and  lacerated 
by  the  poisonous  shafts  of  unj.ust  defamation  and  cruel  false 
hood,  while  they  sadly  ask  in  lamentations  of  woe:  "Where 
is  to 'be  the  end!'?  Only  to  hear  echo's  fearful  response, 
"Thegrave."  Therefore  they  seem  indifferentnowasto  what 
the  world  is  doing-  around  them,  since  none  extend  the  hand 
of  friendship  to  them  but  to  defraud;  none  smile  on  their  dejec 
ted  faces  but  to  deride;  none  sympathize  with  them  in  their 
poverty  but  to  mock;  and  now  when  you  meet  them,  they 
neither  look  to  the  right  nor  left,  but  straight  forward  walking 
with  slow  and  measured  steps  that  betoken  the  thoughts  of 
a  helpless  and  hopeless  people— hopeless,  at  least,  of  all  that 
life  may  bring-  them  of  freedom  and  prosperity.  Few  even 
speak  to  them  in  tones  of  kindness,  yet  all  momentarily  stop 
to  gaze  on  them  with  wondering-  stare  as  if  they  were  cum- 
berers  of  the  ground,  though  there  is  still  upon  their  faces 
of  despair  a  visible  touch  of  lingering  chivalry  worthy  of  a 
better  fate'.  \ 

With  many  of  their  illustrious  men  (long-  deceased) 
whom  I  have  broug-ht  into  this  history,  I  \vas  personally  ac 
quainted  throug-h  the  vicissitudes  of  many  years;  \vith  others, 
though  not  personally,  yet  I  knew  their  minds  and  the 
motives  of  their  actions,  and  these  truly  constitute  the  man. 
.And  they  were  men  whose  hig-h  endowments  (nature's  gift) 
could  not  be  misled  into  selfish  ambition;  nor  prosperity  in 
flate;  nor  disappointment  depress  from  holy  trust  and  honor 
able  action  known  by  the  veritable  touch-stone,  "Ye  shall 
know  a  tree  by  its  fruits."  Nor  have  I  sketched  a  virtue 
that  I  have  not  seen,  nor  painted  a  folly  from  imagination; 
but  have  endeavored  to  be  faithful  to  reality,  in  all  thing's  as 
touching-  that  peculiar  yet  noble  race  of  the  human  family, 
who  sought  resignation  in  all  their  misfortunes  and  woes, 
and  found  it  only  in  the  decrees  of  the  "Great  Spirit"  who 
had  given  to  their  race  so  many  centuries  of  uninterrupted 
bliss,  truly  a  noble  people  who  taught  misfortune  dignity. 
They  had  never  left  their  secluded  and  quiet  homes  amid 
nature's  forest  groves  to  expose  themselves  to  the  contami 
nations  of  the  vices  (to  them  unknown)  of  the  civilized  (so- 
called)  world  of  traffic  and  trade. 

Sequestered  from  its  view,  neither  its  pageants  nor  its 
follies  had  ever  reached  them  there.  It  was  then  and 
there  I  studied  their  unsophisticated  natures  with  an  enthu 
siasm  which  is  the  fragrance  .of  the  flower  that  lives  after 
the  bloom  is  withered.  Nor  am  I  ashamed  to  confess  my 
profound  admiration  of  the  North  American  Indian,  to  whom 
there  was  nothing  so  dear  as  Kis  freedom  unrestrained, 
which  he  proved  beyond  all  dispute  by  fearlessly  resisting 


the  hand  of  tyrannical  oppressions  from  the  Atlantic  coast  to 
the  Pacific,  against  odds  in  point  of  numbers,  munitions  of 
war,  skill  and  means,  as  one  to  ten  thousand,  and  yielded 
not  until  the  last  warrior  had  fallen,  the  last  bow  broken  and 
his  race  reduced  to  absolute  poverty,  want  and  woe.  Still, 
though  poor  and  lowly  as  he  seemed  to  his  venal  destroyers, 
yet  his  whole  heart  and  life  were  wrapt  up  in  the  remem 
brance  of  his  freedom.  He  worshipped  the  thought  as  his 
most  precious  property,  the  dear  treasure  of  his  secret  and 
highest  bliss.  It  was  the  constant  companion  of  his  thoughts 
the  monitor  of  his  actions  and  the  true  key  to  his  life. 

But  alas,  when  memory  now  turns  to  the  past  of  his 
early  life  and  its  unexpected  blighting,  and  raises  before  his 
mind  every  hope  connected  with  it,  and  his  seeming  present 
doom  stares  him  in  the  face,  what  can  rid  him  of  those  suc 
cessive  images  that  seem  to  glide  around  him  like  mournful 
apparitions  of  the  long  lamented  dead,  since  grief  long  since 
has  looked  up  the  avenues  of  complaint,  and  he  stands  as  one 
petrified  to  stone.  But  how  wonderful,  amid  all  their  adver 
sities,  has  been  their  'power  to  rally  and  to  recover  their 
waning  resolution  and  courage;  verily,  they  oft  seemed  to 
experience  a  kind  gf  determined  pleasure  in  resolutely  con 
fronting  the  worst  aspect  of  their  innumerable  reverses; 
yea,  in  standing  in  the  breech  that  has  long  since  overthrown 
their  future,  and  hurling  back  in  defiant  despair,  "Here  we 
stand,  at  least  an  honest  and  chivalrous  people;"  but  alas, 
only  to  seek  solitude  by  retiring  within  themselves  pleading 
"Jailor,  lock  the  door."  Truly  their  lives,  though  not  with 
out  their  efforts  of  strong  exertion,  have  been  during  the 
last  two  centuries,  and  still  are,  a  dream  spent  in  chewing 
the  cud  of  sweet  and  bitter  fancy,  while  they  have  worn  the 
garb  of  hope  which  has  diverted  their  past  and  present  woes 
by  a  touch  of  the  wand  of  imagination  and  gilded  over  the 
future  by  prospects  fairer  than  were  ever  realized.  But  it  is 
impossible  to  deny  and  yet  not  to  admire  and  praise  the 
strong  sense  of  solidity  and  fraternity  which,  through  all 
their  lives,  still  unite  the  members  of  the  same  tribe,  and  the 
feelings  which  have  not  been  dimmed  by  modern  changes  but 
still  exist  as  warm  and  active  as-  ever;  yet  the  White  Race  has 
ever  looked  upon  the  Red  from  the  Ishmaelitish  standpoint, 
and  in  all  its  intercourse,  from  first  to  last,  began  and  so 
continued  by  treating  them  as  inferior  beings,  too  low  in  the 
scale  of  humanity  to  be  reached  by  the  hand  of  Christianity 
and  civilization;  inveterate  and  uncompromising  enemies  to 
be  circumvented  and  overreached  under  an  exhibition  of 
smiling  and  artful  hypocrisy  and  base  venality  unknown  to 
the  Red  Man  and  unsurpassed  in  the  annals  of  the  White. 


But  long*  since  cut  loose  from  their  ancient  moorings,  they 
have  felt  for  more  than  a  century  that  they  were  slowly  but 
surely  drifting-  toward  an  unknown  destiny  foreshadowing- 
extermination.  What  other  people  that  wrould  not  have  had 
recourse  to  war  or  the  suicide's  rifle?  yet,  after  despair  had 
usurped  the  place  of  hope  in  longer  resistance,  they  had 
principle  to  resist  the  one,  and  resolution  to  combat  the 
other.  But  they  were  to  tread  the  lowest  paths  of  sorrow, 
poverty  and  humiliating-  depressions;  whose  circumstances 
were  too  humble  to  expect  redress  and  whose  sufferings 
(mental  and  physical)  were  too  great  even  for  pity^  and 
whose  wrong's,  at  the  hands  of  inside  white  intruders  and 
outside  defamers,  have  long-  since  destroyed  that  streng-th  of 
mind  with  which  mankind  can  meet  distress;  therefore  they 
prepare  to  suffer  in  silence  rather  than  openly  complain. 
What  else  could  they  do?  The  world  disclaims  them. 
Christianity  even  seems  to  have  turned  its  back  upon  their 
distress,  given^  them  up  to  spiritual  nakedness  and  hunger, 
and  left  them  to  plead  to  white  wretches  whose  hearts  are 
stone,  or  to  debauchees  who  may  curse  but  will  not  give  re 
lief,  while  every  devilish  trick  is  played  upon  them,  and  their 
every  action  made  a  fund  for  eternal  ridioule. 

Truly,  instead  of  wondering  that  so  little  of  their  true 
history  has  been  preserved,  it  is  a  matter  of  much  gre;  ter 
wonder  that  so  much  of  truth  has  escaped  the  waste  of  <  two- 
centuries  through  which  they  have  been  dragged  from  p\ace 
to  place,  while  all  narratives  concerning  them  have  l»een 
written,  with  few  exceptions,  in  shameful  derogation  of  their 
true  characters,  all  exaggerated  and  still  continuing  to  be 
exaggerated,  evincing  a  strange  love  of  defamation  only  to 
gratify  the  morbid  fondness  of  their  readers  for  the  marve 
lous,  and  their  own  manifested  inability  to  tell  the  truth; 
therefore  the  most  absurd  and  ridiculous  falsehoods  are  fabri 
cated  and  published  about  this  people  and  joyfully  read  and 
believed  by  all  who  are  in  harmony  with  their  traducers,  a 
truth  that  remains,  in  essential  points  at  least,  from  one  end 
of  the  scale  to  the  other. 

True,  the  ways  of  the  Indians  are  not  the  ways  of  the 
civilized  world  of  which  they  knew. nothing;  nor  were  they, 
being  without  its  ways,  versed  in  its  revolting  vices,  aiid 
their  so-called  love  of  war  and  carnage  existed  but  in  the 
imagination  of  the  White  Race,  one  of  its  beliefs  which  may 
be  traced  hither  and  thither  but  never  to  the  propitiation  of 
truth  concerning  anything  about  the  Red;  since,  having  its 
origin  alone  in  the  impatience  of  its  venality  while  drifting 
amid  zones  of  ignorance  and  prejudice;  and  when  I  contem 
plate  such,  I  am  taught  to  look  upon  their  errors  more  in  sor- 


row  than  anger.  True  the  Indians  were  cruel  to  their  ene 
mies  in  war,  and  so  are  we  together  with  all  the  nations  of 
earth.  • 

But  when  I  take  up  dhe  North  American  Indian  who  has 
suffered  and  represent  to  myself  the  struggles  he  has  passed 
through  for  centuries  past,  to  defend  his  just  rights  and 
sustain  the  freedom  of  his  country  from  exotic  vandals,  and 
reflect  upon  his  brief  pulsations  of  joy;  the  tears  of  woe;  the 
feebleness  of  purpose;  the  scorn  of  the  world  that  has,  with 
out  just  reason,  no  charity  for  him;  the  desolation  of  his 
soul's  sanctuary,  his  freedom  buried  in  the  memory  of  the 
past;  happiness  gone;  hope  fled;  I  fain  would  leave  his  blight 
ed  soul  with  Him  from  whose  hands  it  came,  for  how  diffi 
cult  it  is  to  roll  away  the  black  and  huge  stone  of  prejudice 
from  off  the  white  man's  heart,  to  whom  ignorance  is  bliss 
in  regard  to  all  Indians;  thousands,  therefore,  hate  the  In 
dian  because  they  do  not  know  him  and  desire  not  to  know 
him  because  they  hate  him. 

Truly,  the  North  American  Indians  constitute  as  grand 
a  record  of  human  courage,  patriotic  endurance,  and  as  har 
rowing  a  history  of  human  suffering  as  has  ever  been  told; 
while  their  oppressors  and  destroyers,  who  have  figured  in 
their  nefarious  designs  against  them  from  the  alpha  to  omega 
as  the  beau-ideal  of  cruel  injustice,  are  still  laboring  with  a 
zeal  never  manifested  before  to  intensify  the  public  feeling 
against  the  helpless  people,  that  they  may  the  more  effect 
ually  accomplish  their  infamous  schemes  to  rob  and  plunder 
them;  and  whose  consciences  seem  so  elastic  that,  at  one 
time  it  seems  difficult  for  them  to  stretch  them  over  a  mole 
hill;  at  another,  with  ease,  they  stretch  them  over  a  moun 
tain.  Yet  the  influence,  power  and  grip  these  characters 
exert  and  impress  upon  the  public  mind  are  truths  both  hu 
miliating  and  disgraceful,  and  the  strange  liberties  that  are, 
by  our  seemingly  defective  systems  of  jurisprudence,  legal 
ly  permitted  to  such  plunderers  in  highxplaces  who  have  the 
audacity  and  impertinence  to  appeal  to  law,  and  misuse  its 
machinery  for  selfish  and  covetous  purposes,  are  everywhere 
illustrated  at  the  expense  of  the  misguided  and  alike  help 
less  and  unfortunate  Indians,  upon  whom  they  have  descend 
ed  in  countless  thousands  as  blow-flies  on  a  decomposing 
body,  to  rob  and  plunder  them  of  the  last  acre  of  their  terri 
tories.  Truly  our  sensibilities  in  the  light  of  humanity,  and 
our  judgment  in  the  light  of  truth  and  justice,  are  abso 
lutely  dead  in  regard  to  this  people;  therefore,  thousands 
have  supinely  yielded  to  the  false  assertions  of  thieves  and 
robbers,  the  reverence  due  to  a  Divine  decree,  without  any 


investigation  whatever,  which  has    been  done  in  all  cases  of 
dealing-  with  Indians  from -first  to  last. 

Truly  it  may  be  written  as  an  epitaph  for  their  history,, 
"unutterably  sad,  because  so  disastrously  true."  Alas!  mul 
tiplied  thousands  to-day  look  with  horror  on  the  wrong's  and 
suffering's  of  the  feeble  and  helpless  Indians  still  hovering-  in 
our  midst,  yet  are  content  to  hide  themselves  from  their 
woes;  yea,  they  openly  acknowledge  their  shameful  reality 
yet  do  nothing  to  alleviate  their  condition.  They  well  know 
of  the  thousand  wrong's  continually  being  heaped  upon  them, 
yet  only  shrug-  their  shoulders  and  fold  their  arms  in  callous 
acquiescence  in  that  which  they  falsely  and. cowardly  declare 
to  be  inevitable;  while  they,  at  the  same  time,  acknowledge  a 
sense  of  shame  and  personal  guilt  in  permitting  such  infa 
mous  cruelty  and  oppression  to  be  heaped  upon  that  help 
less  race  in  their  midst  and  under  their  own  eyes,  without 
being  actuated  to  noble  efforts  to  stop  it.  No  wonder  the 
Indian's  countenance  seems  prematurely  marked  by  deep 
furrows,  and  his  long  hair  waves  over  his  brow  on  which  is 
fixed  a  deep  gloom  that  no  smile  from  the  lips  can  chase 
away!  Alas,  through  what  direful  changes  have  they  been 
forced  to  pass!  througli  what  cycles  of  hope  and  fear  have 
their  generations  been  coerced  while  the  world  about  them 
seemed  like  a  vision  hurrying  by  as  they  stood  still  in 
silence,  helplessness  and  woe!  Therefore,  in  their  entire 
history,  how  little  there  is  to  ,  contemplate  but  the  most 
agonizing  struggles  followed  by  the  deepest  and  most  osten 
sible  decay  through  their  long  and  continued  attempts  at 
redress  and  the  recovery  of  their  God-inherited  rights 
which  expired  with  their  liberty. 



Choctaw,  Chickasaw  and  Natchez 



There  has  been,  and  is  to-day,  as  great  a  proportion  of 
of  those  characteristics  that  elevate  and  adorn  mankind 
found  among"  the  North  American  Indian  race  as  ever  were 
found  upon  earth.  Men  and  women  in  whose  breasts  were 
seats  of  virtues  as  pure  as  ever  found  in  man  or  woman. 
This  may  seem  as  shadows  to  many,  incontrovertible  truths 
to  those  who  truly  know  them,  not  as  enemies  but  as  friends. 
Through  a  long  life  of  personal  acquaintance  with  and  ex 
perience  among-  them,  I  can  and  do  here  testify  to  the 
same  when  living-  in  their  ancient  domains,  and  still  find 
them  in  the  present  years  as  in  those  of  the  long-  past, 
though  my  opinions  then  may  have  been  formed  to  some  ex 
tent  as  shadows  in  the  back-ground  of  imagination,  yet  they 
took  substantial  form  and  substance  with  time,  in  perfect 
harmony  with  the  positive  assertions  of  all  the  early  ex 
plorers,  as  far  back  as  anything  is  known  of  their  history. 
Truly,  prolific  fancies  of  the  larger  portion  of  modern 
writers  seem  to  have  been  governed  by  the  many  false  des 
criptions  of  the  ancient;  and  poetic  license  has  extended  the 
peculiarities  of  the  ancestors  with  all  their  imaginary  faults 
and  none  of  their  virtues  to  their  descendants,  this  too  in  the 
absence  of  all  authentic  history;  while  our  own  traditions 
have  dealt  no  less  unjustly  with  the  remnant  whom  we  are 
following  down  to  their  seemingly  inevitable  destiny  (exter 
mination)  so  unjustly  and  cruelly  decreed  through  the  insti 
gation  of  our  insatiable  venality,  whose  merciless  sword  is 
still  drawn  and  stretched  athwart  the  gate  of  the  Indian's 
highest  ambition,  his  freedom;  allowing  him  no  place  in  that 


higher  civilization  concerning  which  heaven  and  earth  are 
amazed  at  our  continued  vociferations,  and  stupified  in  our 
inconsistency  that  denies  to  them  their, natural  and  individ 
ual' rights,  since  it  does  but  establish  our  inability  to  compre 
hend  the  eternal  principles  of  human  development,  as  we 
assume  to  fear  to  trust  them  with  the  choice  of  their  own 
destiny,  and  that  of  their  souls,  moved  and  actuated  by  the 
divine  principles  therein  implanted.  It  could  not  justly  be 
expected  that  they  would  at  once  adopt  our  principles  and 
institutions,  to  them  a  chaos  of  contradictions.  Yet  we 
charge  them  with  the  utter  want  of  those  virtues  that  dis 
tinguish  man  from  the  brute,  though  well  knowing  the 
falsity  of  the  accusation  by  the  undeniable  testimony  mani 
fest  among  them  every  where  to  the  contrary. 

We  also  charge  them  with  every  crime,  but  how  greatly 
inconsistent  and  unjust  when  being  so  deeply  stained  our 
selves!  Alas,  when  hope  of  longer  freedom  had  given  place 
to  hopeless  despair,  and  they  as  a  forlorn  hope,  threw  them 
selves  upon  our  boasted  humanity,  they  awoke  but  to  find  a 
myth;  for  we  then  displayed  our  so-called  Christian  virtues 
and  high  sounding  hallelujahs  of  .freedom  to  all  mankind  by 
cooping  them  up  in  isolated  reservations,  but  more  properly 
vestibules  of  the  cemetery,  the  ante-rooms  where  the  re 
cruiting  agents  of  death  (woe  and  despair)  assemble  their 
conscripts  to  prepare  them  for  the  ranks  whence  there  is 
neither  desertion  or  discharge;  and  having  thus  and  there 
caged  them,  now  perform  the  honorable  (?)  and  humane  (?) 
task  of  watching  them  at  the  doors  of  their  prisons,  while 
our  parasites  keep  a  faithful  record  of  the  complaints  of  the 
unfortunate,  helpless,  hapless  and  hopeless  sufferers, 
whose  dire  misfortunes  few  have  the  magnanimity  to 
respect,  while  thousands  scoff  and  mock  and  which  they 
seem  determined  shall  only  cease  in  the  silence  of  the  last 
Indian's  grave. 

Can  the  Indians  of  to-day  but  cherish  the  greatest  ab 
horrence  toward  those  who  forced  them  into  those  lazar- 
prisons  where  curses  reply  to  their  just  complaints  and 
blows  and  kicks  to  their  dying  groans,  as  each  is  tortured  in 
his  separate  hell  where  all  can  hear  but  none  will  heed?  Can 
they  but  shun,  in  their  limited  inch  of  freedom,  as  a  blighting 
pestilence,  those  who  still  seek  to  debase  them  in  the  estima 
tion  of  the  world  by  falsely  branding  them  as  creatures  to 
be  feared  and  shunned,  with  no  power  to  resent  but  only  to 
weep  in  silence  and  hopeless  despair,  while  their  blighted 
spirits  are  being  proved  in  this  furnace  like  steel  in  temper 
ing  fire  ? 

Once  they  were  quick  in  feeling  and  fearless  in  resent- 


nent — that  is  o'er.  They  are  now  the  sons  of  silence;  their 
Abounds  of  mind  and  body  are  now  callous,  or  long-  since 
they  would  have  dashed  their  brains  against  their  pris 
on  bars,  as  the  rays  of  the  sun  of  their  re 
membered  freedom  and  happiness  flashed  through  them  in 
seeming  mockery  of  their  woes.  Neither  are  their  slumbers 
sleep  but  only  a  continuance  of  enduring  woes,  a  lingering 
despair  whose  envenomed  tooth  preventing  truth,  justice  and 
humanity  would  still  mangle  the  dead.  Their  hair  is  gray, 
but  not  from  years;  'tis  the  impatient  thirst  for  freedom  par 
ching  the  heart,  and  abhorred  slavery  maddening  the  soul 
with  heaviness  and  woe  as  it  battles  v^ith  its  agony  under  the 
knowledge  that  to  them  earth  and  air  are  banned  and  barred 
— a  living  grave  of  long  years  of  oppression,  abuse,  calumny 
and  outrage;  yet  they  live,  endure  and  bear  the  likeness  of 
breathing  men,  while  they  bear  the  innate  tortures  of  a  living 
despair,  becoming  ol(^  in  their  youth,  and  dying  ere  middle 
age,  some  of  weariness,  some  of  disease,  (the  legacy  of 
their  destroyers)  but  more  of  withered  hopes  and  broken 
hearts.  Alas,  that  they  should  have  found  so  few  among  the 
White  Race  with  whom  they  could  safely  wear  the  chain  of 
unassumed  friendship  and  confidence;  therefore  have  shunned 
their  companionship  and  sadly  sought  as  long  as  they  could 
the  solitude  of  the  remote  wilderness  and  there  with  its  more 
congenial  spirit  divided  the  homage  of  their  hearts,  but  alas, 
only  to  find  even  there  no  secure  retreat  from  their  restless 
foes.  This  fatalism,  the  assured  certainly  that  nothing  good 
can  now  be  expected;  the  full  conviction  that  even  the  United 
States  government  seems  indifferent  to  protect  them  from 
the  venality  of  its  own  unprincipled  and  seemingly  law  defy 
ing  white  subjects,  is  now  deeply  rooted  in  the  minds  of  the 
aged  Indians;  while  the  younger  receive  their  education  in  the 
high  (so-called)  schools  of  the  States  in  learning  by  heart 
Herbert  Spencer,  John  Stuart  Mill,.  Darwin,  and  noted  exotic 
philosophers,  thus  losing  much  of  their  respect  for  their 
own  religion  as  taught  them  by  the  true  missionaries  of  the 
gospel  of  the  world's  Redeemer,  rendering  their  present  a 
gloomy  back-ground,  a  black  shadow  of  a  once  bright  picture; 
therefore  the}'  have  become  decrepit  and  have  fallen  down 
like  a  huge  memorial  of  antiquity  prostrate  and  broken  to 
pieces,  while  the  fragments  only  remain  as  a  treasure  belong 
ing  alone  to  the  modern  archieologist.  Yet,  a  noble  people 
whose  memorials  have  long  since  been  swept  away  by  the  hand 
of  usurpation,  and  whose  relics  of  their  former  greatness 
have  alike  crumbled  to  dust  leaving  no  trace  of  their  former 
existence,  save  here  and  there  names  of  a  few  rivers  and 
little  streams,  touching  for  their  simplicity,  but  for  whom 


justice  has  long-  but  vainly  demanded  an  honorable  plact 
among1  Christian  people,  and  for  whom  the  time  has  surely 
(yea,  years  ago)  arrived  to  be  redeemed  from  the  cruel  and 
unjust  bondage  of  that  long-,  dark  nig-ht  of  misrepresentation 
to  which  they  have  been  so  mercilessly  subjected  for  so  many 
long-  and  weary  years — a  people  g-ood  without  a  pretense  and 
blest  with  plain  reason  and  sober  sense;  whose  traditional 
history,  connected  as  it  is  with  the  Eastern  Continent,  abound 
ed  with  many  of  those  striking-  events  which  furnish  modern 
history  with  its  richest  materials;  as  every  tribe  had  its 
Thermopylae,  and  every  village  had  produced  its  Leonidas. 
But  the  veil  of  centuries  past  now  hides  those  events*  that 
might  have  been  bequeathed  to  the  admiration  of  the  present 
age  of  the  world.  The  opportunity  was  offered  by  the  Red  Man 
to  the  White  two  centuries  ago  but  was  rejected,  though 
advancing  years  proved  their  merit.  But  too  late  was  dis 
covered  the  error .  Our  many  unfortunate  misunderstandings 
and  contests  with  the  ancient  and  modern  Native  Americans  of 
this  continent  are  as  fertile  as  any  of  similar  character  that 
have  afflicted  man-kind;  while  many  characters  and  scenes 
have  been  brought  upon  the  theatre  by  the  sanguine  hand  of  war 
which  history  has  not  recorded.  Many  of  such  have  been 
obtained  and  are  recorded  in  this  book;  as  it  was  my  fate 
(whether  good  or  bad,  fortunate  or  unfortunate  yet  without 
cause  for  regret)  to  be  born  and  •  reared  among  the  Choc- 
taws;  and  having  spent  the  bright  morn  of  life  to  man-hood 
among  that  excellent  people  and  sister-tribe,  the  Chickasaws, 
as  well  as  my  long  and  well  known  friendship  and  admiration 
entertained  for  them  and  their  entire  race,  have  influenced 
them  to  give  me  a  hearing  (not  boasting  but  unvarnished 
truth)  upon  any  and  all  subjects  above  that  which  generally 
falls  to  the  lot  of  the  White  Man  to  obtain. 


In  the  year  1470,  there  lived  in  Lisbon,  a  town  in  Portu 
gal,  a  man  by  the  name  of  Christopher  Columbus,  who  there 
married  Dona  Felipa,  the  daughter  of  Bartolome  oMonis  de 
Palestrello,  an  Italian  (then  deceased),  who  had  arisen  to 
great  celebrity  as  a  navigator.  Dona  Felipa  was  the  idol  of 
her  doting  father,  and  often  accompanied  him  in  his  many 
voyages,  in  which  she  soon  equally  shared  with  him  his  love 
of  adventure,  and  thus  became  to  him  a  treasure  indeed  not 
only  as  a  companion  but  as  a  helper;  for  she  drew  his  maps 


and  geographical  charts,  and  also  wrote,  at  his  dictation,  his 
journals  concerning  his  vovages.  Shortly  after  the  marriage 
of  Columbus  and  Felipa  at  Lisbon,  thev  moved  to  the  island 
of  Porto  Santo  which  her  father  had  colonized  and  was  gov 
ernor  at  the  itime  of  his  death,  and  settled  on  a  large  landed 
estate  which  belonged  to  Palestrello,  and  which  he  had  be 
queathed  to  Felipa  together  with  all  his  journals  and  papers. 
In  that  home  of  retirement  and  peace  the  young  husband  and 
wife  lived  in  connubial  bliss  for  manv  years.  'How  could  it 
be  otherwise,  since  each  had  found  in  the  other  a  congenial 
spirit,  full  of  adventurous  explorations,  but  which  all  others 
regarded  as  yisionary  follies.  They  read  together  and  talked 
over  the  journals  and  papers  of  Bartolomeo,  during  which 
Felipa  also  entertained  Columbus  with  accounts  of  her  own 
voyages  with  her  father,  together  with  his  opinions  ajid  those 
of  other  navigators  of  that  age — his  friends  and  companions 
— of  a  possible  country  that  might  be  discovered  in  the  dis 
tant  West,  and  the  future  fame  of  the  fortunate  discoverer. 
Thus  they  read,  studied,  thought  and  talked  together 'con 
cerning  that  which  they  believed  the  future  would  proye? a 
reality,  but  of  which  no  other  had  a  thought.  .;This  opinion, 
had  found  a  permanent  lodgment  in  the  mind  of  Columbus 
and  awakened  an  enthusiasm  therein  never  experienced  -be 
fore  in  the  breast  of  man  upon  alike  subject,  and  which 
aroused  him  to  that  energy  of  determination  which  .rebuked 
all  fear  and  recognized  no  thought  of  failure.  But  alas,  the 
noble  Felipa,  who  alone  had  stood  by  him  in  their  mutual 
opinions  and  shared  with  him  the  storm  of  thoughtless  ridi 
cule,  lived  not  to  learn  of  the  fulfillment  of  their  hopes,  and 
the  undying  fame  of  her  adored  husband,  even  as  he  lived  not 
to  learn*  the  extent  of  his  discovery.  But  alas,  for  human 
justice  and  consistency.  Instead  of  naming  the  "New 
World11  in  honor  of  his  equally  meritorious  wife,  the  heroic 
Dona  Felipa,  or  in  honor  of  both,  it  was  wrested  from  them 
by  one  Amerigo  Vespucci,  a  pilot  on  a  vessel  of  an  obscure 
navigator  named  Hojeda,  and  the  world  acquiesced  in  the 
robbery.  But  such  are  its  rewards! 

But  more  than  four-hundred  years  have  been  numbered 
with  the  ages  of  the  past,  since  a  little  fleet  of  three  ships, 
respectively  named  Santa  Maria,  Pinta  and  Nina,  under  the 
command  of  Christopher  Columbus,  were  nearing  the  coast  of 
that  country  that  lay  in  its  primitive  grandeur  and  loveliness, 
even  as  when  pronounced  "good11  by  its- -Divine  Creator, 
beyond  the  unknown  waters  that  stretched  away  in  the 
illimitable  distance-to  the  West  where  sky  and  sea,  though 
ever  receding,  seemed  still  to  meet  in  loving  embrace,  but 
whose  existence  was  first  in  the  contemplations  of  Columbus 


and  Felipa,and  its  reality, first  in  the  knowledge  of  Columbus. 
At  10. o'clock,  p.m.,  as  it-is  recorded,  Columbus    discovered 
the  feeble  glimmerings  of   a    distant   light,'   to  which    he   at 
once  directed  the  attention  of  Pedro  Gutierrez,  who  also  saw 
it.      On  the  next   day,  at  2  a.    m.,  the  distant  boom  of  a    gun 
was  heard  rolling  along  on  the  smooth  surface  of  the  tranquil 
waters,  the  first   that  ever  broke    the   solitude   of   the    night 
in    those     unknown   regions    of     the   deep.     It   came   from 
the    Pinta,    and  bore     the    joyful     intelligence      that    land 
was   found.     But   how  little   did    these   daring    adventurers 
iiriagine  the  magnitude  of  their  discovery;  or.  that  that  mid 
night  signal  also  heralded  the  extermination  of  old  notions 
and  the  birth  of  new;  the  prelude  to  war  and  bloodshed  with 
a  people  whose  types. were  unknown  to  the  civilized  world!. 
For  man  was  there — man  in  his  primitive  state.     Fiercely- 
energetic,  yet  never  demonstrative  or  openly  expressing  his 
emotions;  uncultured,  yet  slow  and  deliberate  in  his  speech; 
congenial,  vet  ever  exhibiting  a  reserve  and  diffidence  among 
strangers;  hospitable,  yet  knowing  his  rights,  knew  no  fear 
in  maintaining  them;  trusting,  yet  welcomed  death   rather 
than  endure  wrong.     Yet,  in  most  of  his  characteristics  and. 
peculiarities '  seemingly   to  have   a   foreign  origin   from  the  ~ 
known  races  of' mankind;    still  indisputably  of  the  human' 
ralce— he,  too,  was  man;  though  with  no  regular  or  consistent'- 
ideas  of  the  Deity,  religion  or  civil  government,  yet  possessing' 
correct  views  of  a  distinction  between  right  and  wrong,  on_ 
wHich  were  founded  very  correct  maxims  orx  codes  of  moral-'/; 
ity;  but  whose   penal  code  was  a  definite  and' fixed  rule ^oifii 
personal  retaliation — "An  eye  ior  an  eye  and  a  tooth  for  a- 
tpbtn;"  thus  they  were  gliding  smoothly  along  on  the  tide  of. 
tirrie,  nor  had  a  troubled  wave  ever  risen  to  disturb  the  tran- 
quility  of  their  voyage,  or  shadows  darkened  their  sky,  and 
to  whom  the  past  had  been  so  bright  that  the  future   held 
only  fair  promises  for  them.     But,  alas,  how  little  did  they  . 
realize  how  dark  a  future  was  in  store  for  them!     That  mid 
night  gun,  as  it  momentarily  flashed  upon  the  deck  of  the 
Pinta  and  then  sent  its  welcomed  boom  to  the  listening  ears 
and  watching  eyes  upon  the  decks  of  the  Santa  Maria  and 
Nina  proclaiming  that  their  languishing  hopes  were  realized 
and  their  declining  expectations  verified,  was  also  the  death 
signal,  first  to  the  distant  Peruvians  by  the  hand  of  Pizarro  ; 
next,  to  the  Aztecs  by  the  hand  of  Cortez;  then  last,  but  not 
least,  to  the   North   American  Indians   by   the   hand   of   De 
Soto — as  an  introduction  of  what  would  be — but  the  Old  died 
hard  to  make  way  for  the  New. 

Once    the  dominant  power    of  this  continent;  but  alas, 
through     unequal    wars:     through     altered     circumstances, 


through  usurpation  and  frauds;  through  oppressions  and 
trials;  through  misfortunes  and  hardships,  sorrows  and  suf 
ferings,  of  which  none  can  know  but  themselves,  they  have 
been  coerced  by  arbitrary  power  exerted,  through  treaty  and 
cessions  by  open-handed  tyranny  and  wrong,  to  surrender 
their  country,  their  all,  to  make  way  for  white  civilization  and 
that  liberty  that  only  seemed  to  prosper  and  rejoice  in  pro 
portion  to  "the  destruction  of  their  own;  while  they  long  but 
vainly  looked  for  the  expected  day  when  the  White  Man's 
avarice  would  be  satiated,  and  then  the  red  and  white  races 
could  walk  together  in  harmony  and  peace  each  aiding  the 
other  in  the  development  of  the  resources  of  their  respective 
portions  of  the  vast  continent  that  lay  between  them,  extend 
ing  from  ocean  to  ocean,  to  the  mutual  advantages  of  each  in 
the  noble  and  humane  endeavors  to  attain  the  chief  end  of 
man — the  glory  of  God  and  the  enjoyment  of  Him  in  this  world 
and  the  one  to  come — but  the  White  Race  would  not. 

But  whence  the  origin  of  this  peculiarly  interesting  and 
wonderful  people?  From  what  nation  of  people  descended? 
Whence  and  at  what  date,  how  and  by  what  route  came  they 
to  this  continent?  Language  has  contributed  its  mite  and  the 
archaeologist  handed  in  his  little,  concerning  the  infancy  of 
this  peculiar  people,  yet  the  veil  of  mystery  still  hangs  around 
them  shutting  out  all  knowlege  of  the  primitive  past.  Who 
shall  rend  the  veil  and  tell  whence  they  came  to  possess  this 
continent  in  that  distant  long-ago  before  the  dawn  of  history's 
morn?  Alas,  even  the  feeble  glimmerings  of  vague  traditions 
have  not  furnished  a  ray  of  light  to  penetrate  the  darkness  of 
the  long  night  that  enshrouds  their  origin.  It  is  a  sealed 

Such  has  been  for  two  centuries  past,  and  still  is,  the 
long  drawn  and  doleful  wail  concerning  the  North  American 
Indians'  primitive  land;  romantic  in  affording  an  unlimited 
field  over  which  the  wild,  dreamy  speculations  of  the  imagina 
tive  minds,  of  which  the  present  age  is  so  prolific  in  every 
thing  read  or  heard  about  the  Red  Race,  may  find  abundant 
space  to  indulge  in  their  visionary  delights  unrestrained,  un 
disturbed,  undismayed;  the  alpha  and  the  omega  of  their 
knowledge  of  the  North  American  Indian  race  in  toto;  since 
the  causes  that  induced  them  to  forsake  and  how  they  drifted 
from  the  shores  of  the  eastern  to  the  western  continent,  are 
today  treasured  in  their  ancient  traditions  still  remembered 
by  the  few  remaining  of  their  aged  and  also  written  upon  a 
few  wampum  — the  archives  of  their  historic  past  —  that  has 
escaped  the  white  vandals'  devilish  delight  in  destroying  all 
that  is  Indian,  now  forever  buried  in  that  night  of  darkness 
which  precedes  their  known  history. 


But  to  those  who  knew  them  in  their  native  freedom,  when 
uncontaminated  by  the  demoralizing"  influences  of  unprincip 
led  whites,  they  were  truly  a  peculiar  and  interesting-  people 
whose  external  habits,  strange  opinions,  peculiar  dispositions 
and  customs,  seemed  to  belong  alone  to  themselves  and  to 
distinguish  .them  from  all  known  people  of  the  human  race; 
yet,  wholly  susceptible  to  as  high  moral  and  intellectual  im 
provements  as  any  other  race  of  man-kind;  while  their  distinct 
identity  with  the  human  race  is  a  fact  which  has  never  yet 
been  successfully  disproved.  Though  severed  by  climate, 
language  and  a  thousand  external  conditions,  there  is  still 
one  deep  underlying  identity,  which  makes  all  man-kind 
brothers;  an  instructive  and  interesting  subject  worthy 
the  attention  and  consideration  of  all  man-kind.  It  is 
neither  new  nor  novel  but  is  as  ancient  as  the  creation  of 
Adam  and  Eve. 

Though  the  Indians  were  without  letters,  chronology,  or 
any  thing  by  which  correctly  to  denote  their  dynasties  but 
that  which  may  be  inferred  from  their  monumental  remains, 
yet  there  is  much  in  their  recitals  of  ancient  epochs  to  give 
great  consistency  to  their  legends  and  traditions,  and  fully 
sufficient  to  reunite  the  assumed  broken  link  in  the  chain  of 
their  history,  which,  in  the  ages  of  the  past,  connected  them 
with  the  Old  World;  and  their  history, antiquities  and  mytho 
logy  are  still  preserved  by  many  striking  allegories,  here 
and  there,  or  in  wild  yet  consistent  romance.  And  we  can 
but  admit  that  there  are  many  evident  truths  which  we  must 
acknowledge;  for  when  viewed  by  the  light  of  facts,  we  see 
in  the  North  American  Indians  a  peculiar  variety  of  the 
human  race  with  traits  of  character  plainly  oriental,  but 
who  long  since  have  been  lost  to  all  ancient  and  modern 

But  the  time  and  manner  of  their  migration  to  the 
western  continent,  as  before  stated,  are  wrapt  in  impenetra 
ble  mystery.  Those  who  have  studied  the  physiology,  lan 
guage,  antiquities,  and  traditions  of  this  peculiar  people, 
have  alike  concluded  that  their  migration  to  this  continent, 
judging  from  .the  ancient  ruins  found,  probably  extends 
back  to  within  five  hundred  years  of  the  building  of  Babylon. 
Dating  from  the  discoverv  of  Columbus,  the  western  con 
tinent  has  been  known  to  the  European  world  upwards  of 
four  hundred  years;  yet  it  is  now  generally  conceded  (if  not 
universally  admitted)  that  the  Scandinavians  (or  Northmen) 
discovered  it  long  before  Columbus,  and  had  sailed  along  the 
Atlantic  coast  from  Greenland  early  in  the  10th  century. 
Those  ancient  and  daring  sea-rovers  of  Norway,  who  ventured 
upon  the  pathless  ocean  without  chart  or  compass  guided 


alone  by  the  planetary  worlds  above,  discovered  Iceland^ in  the 
year  850,  upon  which  they  established  a  settlement;  and  in 
the  following-  century,  stumbled  upon  the  bleak  and  inhospi 
table  shores  of  Greenland  upon  which  was  also  founded  a 
colony.  But  it  has  been  awarded  to  Leif,  the  son  of  Eric  the 
Red,  as  the  first  discoverer  of  the  North  American  continent 
in  the  10th  century.  He  named  the,  new  country  (now 
believed  to  be  the  coast  of  Massachusetts)  Vinland,  or  Vine- 
land,  from  the  abundance  of  wild  grapes  that  were  there 
found  .  It  is  said  the  records  of  this  expedition  state:  "And 
when  spring  came  they  sailed  away,  and  Leif  g-ave  to  the  land 
a  name  after  its  sort,  and  called  it  Vinland.  They  sailed 
then  until  they  reached  Greenland;  and  ever  afterward,  Leif 
was  called  'Leif  the  Lucky." 

The  traditions  of  the  Choctaws,  Chickasaws,  Creek, 
Cherokees,  Seminoles,  Delawares,  Shawnese,  as  learned  by 
the  early  missionaries,  and,  in  fact,  of  all  the  tribes  who 
formerly  dwelt  east  of  the  Mississippi  River,  state  that  the 
White  Race  come  to  this  continent  from  the  East,  but  that 
their  fore-fathers  came  from  the  North  West. 

It  is  also  said,  that  a  Mexican  historian  makes  a  new 
attempt  to  show  that  America  was  discovered  in  the  fifth 
century,  A.  D.,  by  a  party  of  Buddhist  monks  from  Afg-hanis- 
tan,  of  whom  one,  Hwai  Shan,  returned  to  Asia  after  an 
absence  of  forty  one  years.  A  short  account  of  the  land 
which  he  visited,  supposed  to  be  Mexico,  was  included  in  the 
official  history  of  China.  It  is  said,  there  is  proof  that  Hwai 
Shan  actually  visited  some  unknown  eastern  regions,  and  the 
traditions  of  Mexico  contain  an  acqount  of  the  arrival  of 
monks.  But  whenever  seen  or  found,  whether  in  the  fifth, 
tenth,  fifteenth,  or  eig-hteenth  centuries,  the  North  American 
Indians  have  possessed  nearly  all  the  leading-  traits  that  they 
now  possess.  And  all  admit,  that  of  all  the  races  of  man 
kind  upon  earth  that  wandered  from  the  native  countries  and 
have  been  thrown  back  into  intellectual  darkness,  the  North 
American  Indians  have  undergone  the  least  chang-e,  preserv 
ing1  their  physical  and  mental  type  nearly  the  same,  seemingly 
as  if  bound  by  the  irresistible  power  of  an  unchanging- 
decree;  and  who,  in  their  unvarying  individuality  and  univer 
sal  idiosyncracy,  point  back  to  no  known  race  of  the  human 
family  except  the  Jews.  When  regarded  as  a  whole,  they 
appear  to  have  been  composed  of  fragments  of  different 
tribes  of  the  races  of  man,  yet  having  a  general  affinity  to 
each  other,  and,  with  here  and  there  an  exception,  appearing 
to  be  parts  of  a  whole.  The  majority  of  their  languages  are 
evidently  derivative,  and  of  a  style  of  synthesis  more  ancient 


than  those  even  of  Greece  and   Rome,   but    exhibiting-  no 
analogies  to  those  of  northern  and  western  Europe.   N 

Though  Bancroft  affirms  "that  their  ancestors  were, 
like  themselves,  not  yet  disenthralled  from  nature,"  yet  the 
traditions  of  many  of  the  tribes  pointed  back  to  an  era  in  the 
distant  past  in  which  they  lived  in  a  better  and  happier  con 
dition,  but  that  was  all,  nor  have  ever  the  fragmentary 
writings  of  the  ancients  thrown  any  light  upon  their  history. 
The  Nilotic  inscriptions,  the  oldest  known,  are  alike  silent 
concerning  them,  but  that  they  may  be  still  more  ancient, 
their  language,  strange  idiosyncracies,  and  all  that  render 
them  so  peculiar  and  seemingly  different  from  all  the  known 
human  race,  evidently  denote  and  sustain  the  probability,  if 
nothing  nore.  Be  this  as  it  may,  all  evidence,  yet  obtained 
'  proves  them  to  be  of  very  ancient  origin;  and  no  known  book 
goes  far  enough  back  into  the  past  to  date  the  period  of  their 
origin,  unless  it  be  the  Sacred  Scriptures.  If  we  refer  to 
them  a  proto-type  may  possibly  be  traced  in  the  Eberites,  a 
branch  of  the  house  of  Almodad,  the  son  of  Joktan,  of  whom 
it  is  said,  during  all  periods  of  their  history,  that  they  were 
reckless,  heedless,  impatient  of  restraint  or  reproof.  Yet, 
this  but  adds  to  the  affirmation,  that  history  will  ever  vainly 
inquire,  "whence  their  origin." 

But  that  many  of  their  traditions  were  based  on  facts  is 
unquestionably  true.  Many  tribes  possess  traditions  of  the 
first  appearance  of  the  White  Race  among  them.  The 
Mohicans  and  Lenni  Lenapes  have  a  tradition  of  the  voyage, 
in  1609,  of  the  great  navigator  and  explorer,  Hudson,  up  the 
river  now  bearing  his  name.  Cartier's  visit  to  the  St.  Law 
rence  in  1534,  is  remembered  by  tradition  among  the 
Algonquins,  who  still  call  the  French,  "People  of  the  Wooden 
vessel."  The  Chippewas  declared  (1824)  according  to  their 
traditions  that  seven  generations  of  people  had  lived  and  died 
since  the  French  first  sailed  upon  the  Lakes.  Taking  1608 
as  the  year  of  the  settlement  of  Canada  by  the  French,  and 
allow  thirty  years  to  a  generation,  the  accuracy  of  their 
tradition  is  certainly  praiseworthy,  to  say  the  least  of  it. 
That  their  ancestors  came  from  the  Eastern  continent  there 
are  many  traditional  evidences  that  seem  founded  on  truth. 
In  Sir  Alexander  Mackenzie's  travels  among  the  most 
.northern  tribes,  he  says  the  Chippewas  had  a  tradition  that 
they  originally  came  from  another  country,  which  was 
inhabited  by  a  very  wicked  people,  that  in  their  travels  they 
suffered  greatly  in  passing  over  a  great  lake,  which  was 
always  frozen  and  covered  with  snow.  McKe'rizie,  page  387, 
says:  "Their  progress  (the  great Athapasca  family)  was 
easterly,  and  acc'orq jng  to  to  their  own  tradition,  they  came 


from  Siberia  ;  agreeing-  in  dress  and  manners  with  the  people 
now  found   upon  the   coast    of  Asia."     John  Johnston,   for 
many  years   an  agent  among-   the   Shawnees,   an  Algonquin 
tribe,  states  that   these  Indians   had  a  tradition  of   a  foreign 
origin.     In  a  letter  of  July   7th,    1819,  (American  Archaeolo 
gist,  p.  273)   he   says  :     "The  people  of  this  nation   have   a 
tradition  that  their  ancestors  crossed  the   sea  ;  and  that  they 
migrated  from  Florida  to   Ohio  and   Indiana;"   where   they 
were  located  at  the  time  of  his  agency  among  them.     "They 
were  the  only  tribe,"  he  writes,  "with  which  I  am  acquainted, 
who  admit  a  foreign  origin."     The  Cherokees  also  admit  it. 
Oconostata,  or  the  Big  warrior,   chief  of   the   ancient   Chero 
kees,  claimed  that  his   people's  ancestors   came   from    Asia, 
landing  far  to  the  north-west  of  this  continent;   thence  to 
Mexico  ;  thence  to  this  country.     (Milfort,  p.  269.)     Johnston 
further  states  respecting  the  Shawnees.     "Until  lately,  they 
kept  yearly  sacrifices  for  their  safe   arrival  in   this   country. 
Whence    they     came,     or   at    what   period   they   arrived   in 
America,  they  do  not  know.     It  is  a  prevailing  opinion  among 
them,  that  Florida  had  been   inhabited  by  white   people,  who 
had  the   use  of  iron  tools.     Blackhoof,   a   celebrated   Chief, 
affirms  that  he  has  often  heard  it  spoken  of  by  old  people, 
that  stumps  of  trees,  covered  with  earth,  were  frequently 
found,  which  had  been  cut    down  with   edged  tools."     But 
this,  no  doubt,  was  the  work  of  De  Soto  and  his  army  in  1541. 
Many  attribute  to  the  Indians  a  Jewish   origin,   and   not 
without  some  seemingly  plausible  reason.     James  Adair,  a 
man,  it  is  recorded,  of  fine  erudition,  and  who  lived   more 
than     thirty    years    among    the   ancestors    of   the   present 
Chickasaws,    and   was  often  among  the    ancient    Choctaws, 
Cherokees  and  Muscogees,  and  thus  became  familiar  with 
the  customs  and  habits  of  these  Southern  Indians.     Tradition 
states  that  Adair  commenced  living  among  the   Chickasaws 
in  1844.     He  wrote  and  published  a  work;     "The  American 
Indians,"   in    1775.     He    was   well  versed    in   the    Hebrew 
language,  and  in  his  long  residence  with  the  Indians  acquired 
an  accurate  knowledge  of  their  tongue,  and   he  devoted   the 
larger  portion  of  his  work  to  prove  that  the  Indians   were 
originally   Hebrews,   and  were  a  portion  of   the  lost  tribes  of 
Israel.     He  asserts  that  at  the  "Boos-Ketous"  (the  ceremony 
of  initiating  youth  to  manhood)   "among  the  ancient  Musco 
gees  and  other  tribes,  the  warriors  danced  around   the  holy- 
fire,  during  which  the  elder  priest  invoked  the  Great  Spirit, 
while    they    responded     Halelu!    Halelu!     then    Haleluiah! 
Haleluiah!"     He  based  his   belief  that  they  were  originally 
Jews,    upon  their   division  into  tribes,  worship  of   Jehovah, 
notions  of  theocracy,  belief  in  the  ministrations  of  angels, 


language  and  .dialects,  manner  of  computing  time,  their 
Prophets  and  High  Priests,  festivals,  fasts  and  religious 
rites,  daily  sacrifices,  ablutions  and  anointings,  laws  of 
uncleanlinless,  abstinence  from' unclean  things,  marriages,, 
divorces,  and  punishments  for  adultery,  other  punishments, 
their. towns  of  refuge,  purification  and  ceremony  preparatory 
to  war,  their  ornaments,  manner  of  curing  the  sick,  burial 
of  the  dead,  mourning  for  the  dead,  choice  of  names  adapted 
to  their  circumstances  and  times,  their  own  traditions,  and 
the  accounts  of  our  English  writers,  and  the  testimony  which 
the  Spanish  and  other  authors  have  given  concerning  the 
primitive  inhabitants  of  Peru  and  Mexico.  He  insists  that 
in  nothing  do  they  differ  from  the  Jews  except  in  the  rite  of 
circumcision.  The  difference  In  food,  mode  of  living  and 
climate  are  relied  on  by  Adair,  to  account  for  the  difference 
in  the  color,  between  the  Jew  and  the  Indian.  Abram 
Mordecai,  an  intelligent  Jew,  who  dwelt  fifty  years  in  the 
the  ancient  Creek  nation,  confidently  believed  that  the 
Indians  were  originally  of  his  people,  and  he  asserted  that  in 
their  Green  Corn  Dances  he  had  heard  them  often  utter  in 
graceful  tones,  the  word  Yavoyaha!  Yavoyaha!  He  was 
always  informed  by  the  Indians  that  this  meant  Jehovah,  or 
the  Great  Spirit,  and  that  they  were  then  returning  thanks 
for  the  abund'ant  harvest  with  which  they  were  blest. 

I  often  heard  the  Choctaws,  when  engaged  in  their 
,  ancient  dances  at  their  former  homes  east  of  the  Mississippi 
River,  utter  in  concert  and  in  solemn  tone  of  voice  Yar-vo-hah, 
Yar-vo-yar-hah!  and  when  asked  its  signification,  replied  : 
"It  is  the  name  of  the  Great  Spirit  we  worship."  According 
to  an  ancient  tradition  of  the  Choctaws,  as  before  stated,  the 
ancient  Choctaws,  Chickasaws  and  Muscogees  (ndw  Creeks) 
were  once  the  same  people,  and  today  the  Creeks  have  many 
pure  Choctaw  words  in  their  language. 

Other  writers,  who  have  lived  among  the  ancient  Indians, 
are  of  the  same  opinion  with  Adair  and  Abram  Mordecai, 
forming  this  conclusion  solely  on  the  fact  that  many  of  the 
religious  rites  and  ceremonies  of  the  various  tribes  they 
regarded  as  truly  Jewish,  to  that  extent  as  to  induce  them 
to  believe  that  the  North  American  Indians  are  originally 
from  the  Jews. 

Even  the  renowned  Quaker,  Wm.  Penn,  in  expressing 
his  views  upon  this  subject,  says:  "For  the  original,  I  am 
ready  to  believe  them  the  Jewish  race,  I  mean  of  the  stock  of 
the  ten  tribes,  and  that  for  the  following  reasons: 

"First.  They  were  to  go  to  a  land  not  planted  or  known,, 
which,  to  be  sure,  Asia  and  Africa  were,  if  not  Europe,  and 
He  that  intended  that  extraordinary  judgment  upon  them, 


might  make  the  passage  not  uneasy  to  them,  and  it  is  not  im 
possible  in  itself,  from  the  easternmost  part  of  Asia  to'  the 
westernmost  part  of  America.  In  the  next  place,  I  find  them 
of  like  countenance,  and  their  children  of  so  lively  resemb 
lance  that  a  man  would  think  himself  in  Duke's  place  or 
Berry  street  in  London,  when  he  seeth  them.  But  this  is  not 
all.  They  agree  in'  rites;  they  reckon  by  moons;  they  offer 
their  first  fruits;  they  have  a  kind  of  feast  of  tabernacles;  they 
are  said  to  lay  their  altar  upon  twelve  stones;  their  mourning 
a  year;  customs  of  women;  with  many  other  things. " 

There  was  a  belief  among  many  of  the  ancient  tribes  of 
the  North  American  Indians,  that  their  earliest  ancestors 
were  created  within  or  at  least. once  lived  within,  the  interior 
of  the  earth.  The  Lenni  Lenape,  now  known  as  the  Delaware 
Indians,  "considered,''  says  Heckewelder,  in  his  "Manners 
and  Customs,  of  the  Indians,"  page  249,  "the  earth  as  their 
universal  mother.  They  believed  that  they  were  created 
within  its  bosom,  where  for  a  long  time  they  had  their  abode 
before  they  came  to  live  on  its  surface.  But  as  to  the  form 
under  which  they  lived  in  the  interior  of  the  'earth,  their 
mythologists  differ.  Some'assert  that  they 'lived 'there  in 
human  shape,  while  others,  with  much  more  consistency, 
declare  that  their  existence  was' in  the  form  of '  :  certain* 
terrestrial  animals,  such  as  the  ground:hog,  rabbit  and  the 
tortoise."  Similar  views  respecting  their  origin  were  held 
by  the  Iroquois.  The  Rev.  Christopher  Pyrloeus,  who 
formerly  lived  among  the  Iroquois  and  spoke  their  language, 
was  told,  (according  to  Heckewelder)  by  a  respectable 
Mohawk  chief,  "a  tradition  of  the  Iroquois  which  was  as 
follows:  That  they  had  dwelt  in  the  earth  when' it  was  dark 
and  where  no  sun  ever  shone.  That,  though  they  engaged 
in  hunting  for  a  living,  they  ate  mice.  That  one  of  their 
tribe  called  Ganawayahhah  having  accidentally  found  a  hole 
at  which  to  g*et  out  of  the  earth,  went  out,  and  after  look 
ing  around  a  while  saw  a  deer,  which  he  killed, and  took  back 
with  him  to  his  home  in  the  earthj  and  that,  '  on  account  both 
'-of  the  flesh  of  the  deer  proving  such  excellent  food,  and  the 
favorable  description1  he  gave  of  the  appearances  above,  they 
concluded  it  best  to  change  their  homes  from  the  inside  to 
the. outside  of  the  earth,  and  accordingly  did  so,  and  im 
mediately  engaged  in  raising  corn,  beans,  etc."  Hecke 
welder  does  not  state  whether  these  traditions  of  the  Lenni 
Lenape  and  Iroquois  were  associated  by  them  with  any- 
particular  localities.  However,  the  place  of  origin  was 
generally  located  in  some  suitable  spot  within  the  territory 
of  the  tribes,  and  which  was  regarded  with  much  veneration 
by  all.  "We  are  told  by  Cussac,  a  later  authority  for  the  Iro- 


qois  tradition,"  says  Schoolcraft  (in  his  Indian  Tribes,  part 
5,  pag-e  636)  "that  the  place  at  which  the  first  small  band  of 
Indians  was  believe  to  have  issued  from  the  earth  was  a 
certain  eminence  near  the  Oswego  Falls.  Also,  -(part  5,  p* 
682)  "that  the  Caddos,  lonies,  and  Amaudakas  believe  that 
their  original  ancestors  came  out  of  the  Hot  Springs  of  Ark 
ansas."  Mercy,  in  his  Exploration  of  the  Red  River,  p.  69, 
states  that  the  Wichitas,  on  the  Red  River,  believed  that 
their  fore-fathers  came  out  of  the  mountains  which  bear 
their  name.  Jones,  in  his  Traditions  of  the  Nosth  American 
Indians,  v.  3.  p..  187,.  says:  The  Minetories,  on  the  Upper 
Missouri,  pointed  out  two  hills  as  marking-  the  spot  of  of  the 
tribe's  origin.  Side  by  side  with  these  of  the  "earth  born" 
ancestry  is  another  group  of  origin  traditions,  which  repre 
sent  the  first  of  the  human  race  as  having  their  origin  in 
and  coming  out  of  some  body  of  water,  a  river,  spring  or 
lake,  instead  of  the  ground.  Long,  in  his  expedition  to  the 
Rocky  Mountains,  v.  1.  p.  336,  said:  One  branch  of  the 
Omahas  asserted  that  their  founder  arose  out  of  the  waterr 
bearing  in  his  hand  an  ear  of  red  maize,  for  which  reason 
the  red  maize  was  never  used  by  them  for  food."  De  Smet, 
in  his  Oregon  Missions,  p.  178,  states  that,  in  the  country  of 
the  Blackfoot  tribe  there  are  two  lakes;  one  of  them  is  known 
as  the  lake  of  men,  and  the  other,  as  the  lake  of  women. 
Out  of  the  former  came  the  father  of  the  tribe  and  of  the 
latter,  the  mother, 

These  two  traditions  of  man'sorigin, the  one  thathe  came 
out  of  the  ground,  the  other,  that  he  came  out  of  the  water, 
have  been  regarded  by  some  as  distinct  from  one  another 
both  in  origin  and  meaning;  while  by  others,  as  identical,  and 
both  being  the  mutilated  interpretations  of  a  myth  into 
which  a  cave  and  a  body  of  water  enter  as  prominent  and 
essential  features. 

Very  similar,  says  Schoolcraft,  in  his  Indian  Traditions, 
4,  pp.  89  and  90,  is  the  tradition  of  the  Navajoes,  of  New 
Mexico.  According  to  their  tradition  as  recorded  by  Dr. 
Ten  Brock,  all  mankind  and  all  the  animals  once  lived  in  a 
gloomy  cavern  in  the  heart  of  the  Cerro  Naztarny  mountains, 
on  the  river  San  Juan.  A  lucky  accident  led  them  to  suspect 
that  the  walls  of  their  prison-house  were  quite  thin,  and  the 
raccoon  was  set  to  dig  a  way  out.  .As  he  did  not  succeed  the 
moth  worm  took  his  place  and  after  much  hard  labor  effected 
an  opening.  But  when  he  reached  the  outside  of  the  moun 
tain,  he  found  all  things  submerged  under  the  sea,  so  he 
threw  up  a  little  mound  of  earth  and  sat  down  to  ponder  on 
the  situation.  Presently  the  water  receded  in  four  great 
rivers  and  left  in  their  place  a  mass  of  soft  mud.  Four 


winds  arose  and  dried  up  the  mud  and  then  the  men  and  ani 
mals  came  up,  occupying"  in  their  passage  several  days.  As 
yet  there  was  no  sun,  moon  nor  stars;  so  the  old  men  held  a 
council  and  resolved  to  manufacture  these  luminaries. 
There  were  among  them  two  flute  players,  who,  while  they 
had  dwelt  within  the  mountain,  had  been  wont  to  enliven  them 
with  music;  and  when  the  sun  and  moon  were  finished,  they 
were  given  into  the  charge  of  these  musicians,  who  have  been 
carrying  them  ever  since.  These  are  the  main  points  of  the 
Navajo  legend  as  recorded  by  Dr.  Ten  Brock.  It  will  be 
observed  that  the  sea,  which  is  nothing  else  than  the  prime 
val  sea  that  forms  so  common  a  feature  in  cosmogonies,  holds 
quite  as  prominent  a  place  in  the  story  as  does  the  cavern 
itself,  and  the  two  might  easily  become  separated  in  an  incom 
plete  version.  Either  the  cave  or  the  water  might  be  dropped. 
In  fact,  there  is  another  version  of  this  legend,  given  by 
Col.  J.  A.  Eaton,  in  which  there  is  no  mention  of  a  cave.  The 
Navajoes,  according  to  Eaton's  version  of  the  story,  came  out 
of  the  earth  in  the  middle  of  a  certain  lake  in  the' valley  of 
Montezuma,  at  some  distance  from  their  present  location., 
The  question  which  occurs  first,  upon  surveying  this  group 
of  legends  so  alike  in  their  general  tenor,  is,  are  they  histor 
ically  connected  with  one  another  in  the  sense  that  they  are 
the  fragments  of  some  primeval  tale  current  among  the  In 
dians  at  a  time  when  they  were  less  widely  scattered  over 
the  continent  than  at  pr'esent,  or  have  thfey  sprung  up  at  sev 
eral  centers  .independently  of  each  other?  This  question  is 
of  great  interest  to  American  ethnologists,  but  one  to  which, 
in  the  present  state  of  our  knowledge  respecting  the  mode  of 
growth  and  diffusion  of  popular  tales,  it  would,  perhaps,  be 
rash  to  attempt  an  answer.  It  may  be  said,  however,  in  fa 
vor  of  the  former  hypothesis  that  the  account  of  man's  ori 
gin — at  least,  however,  the  story  is  circumstantially  related 
— is, so  far  as  I  have  been  able  to  discover,  peculiar  to  Ameri 
ca.  It  is  true  it  has  sometimes  been  classed  with  those  old 
World  legends  which  represent  man  as  of  an  earthly  nature, 
either  as  having  been  fashioned  out  of  clay  by  the  hand  of 
some  Promethean  potter,  or  as  having  sprung  from  a  seed  of 
stones  or  of  dragon's  teeth  scattered  over  the  soil,  but  a 
close  inspection  of  any  of  its  detailed  versions  will  show  that 
the  story  teller  has  in  mind  a  thought  essentially  different 
from  those  embodied  in  these  classic  legends.  The  first 
men,  according  to  the  Indians'  account,  did  not  spring  up  as 
vegetable  life  from  the  surface  of  the  earth;  they  came  out  of 
its  interior  in  the  human  shape  and  afterward  accompanied 
by  the  animals  of  the  chase.  Indeed,  when  closely  scanned, 
the  story  is  seen  to  be  an  account,  not  of  man's  origin,  but 


simply  of  a  change  in  the  scene  of  his  existence.  Except  in 
a  few  cases  in  which  we  are  told  that  the  original  men  were 
created  by  the  gods  before  being-  brought^  above  ground,  we 
receive  no  hint  as  to  how  their  life  began.  We  are  merely 
told  that  the}r;  came  a  long-  time  ago  out  of  a  cave  or 
out  of  a  lake,  within  which  they  have  lived  from  the  begin 
ning-.  This  is  a  characteristic  feature  which  I  have  not  met 
with  distinctly  portrayed  in  any  legends  outside  of  America. 
But  whether  or  not  these  tales  have  any  true  kinship  with 
one  another  ,  it  hardly  admits  of  doubt  that  they  have  a  com 
mon  basis,  either  of  facts  or  of  logic,  and  that  they  may' "bet 
regarded  as  practically,  if  not  actually,  different  versions  of 
a  single  original  tale.,  What  is  this  basis,  and  what  is  the 
meaning  of  .the  story?  This  question  has  often  been  asked, 
and  has  been  answered  variously.  From  a  number  of  pro 
posed  "interpretations,"  It  select  two,  which  seem  the 
most  worthy  of.  consideration',  as. well  from  theirinherent 
plausibility,  as  from  the  names  by  which  they  are  endorsed. 
Mr.  Herbert  Spencer,  speaking,  in  a /recent  work,  with  .ex 
press  reference  to  the  Navajo  tradition,  of  which  an  outline 
has  been  given  above;  says:  "Either  the  early  progenitors 
of  a  tribe  were  dwellers  in  caves  or  the  mountains;  or  the 
mountains  making  most  conspicuously  the  elevated  region 
whence  they  came  is  identified  with  the  object  whence  they 
sprung." — (Spencer  Principles  of  Sociology,  Vol.  i,.p.  393.) 
And  again:  \"W/here  caves  are  used  for  interments,  t.hey 
became  the  supposed  places  of  abode  for  the  dead;  and 
hence  develops  the  notion  of  a  subterranean  World." — (Ibid, 
p.  219.)  Underlying  the  tradition  of  the  Delawares  and  Iro- 
quois,  Heckewelder  saw  an  admirable  philosophical  meaning 
— a  curious  analogy  between  the  general  and  the  individual 
creation.  This  view  has  been  adopted  by  Dr.  D.  G.  Brinton 
who  presents  it  as  follow:  "Out  of  the  earth  rises  life,  to  it 
all  returns.  She  it  is  who.  guards  all  germs,  nourishes  all 
beings.  T]  e  Aztecs  painted  her  a  woman  with  countless 
breasts;  the  Peruvians  called  her  Mama  Alpha,  mother 
earth;  in  the  Algonquin  tongue  the  word  for  earth,  mother, 
father,  are  from  the  same  root  Home,  Adam,  Chomaigenes, 
what  do  all  these  words  mean  but  earth — born,  the  son  of  the 
soil,  repeated  in  the  poetic  language  of  Attica  in  anthropos, 
he  who  springs  up  like — a  flower?  As  in  Oriental  legends 
the  origin  of  man  from  the  earth  was  veiled  under  the  story 
that  he  was  the  progeny  of  some  mountain  fecundated  by  the 
embrace  of  Mithras  or  Jupiter,  so  the  Indians  often  pointed 
to  some  height  or  some  cavern,  as  the  spot  whence  the  first 
men  issued,  adult  and  armed  from  womb  of  All — mother 
earth  .  This  cavern,  which  thus  dimly  lingered  in  the  mem- 


ory  of  nations,  occasionally  expanded  to  a  mother- wo  rid, 
imagined  to  underlie  this  of  ours,  and  still  inhabited  by  be 
ing's  of  our  kind,  who  have  never  been  lucky  enough  to  dis 
cover  its  exit.  Such  tales  of  an  under-world  are  very  fre 
quent  among  the  Indians,  and  are  a  very  natural  out-growth 
of  the  literal  belief  that  the  race  is  earth-born."— (The 
Myths  of  the  New  World,  2nd.  ed.,  pp.  238  to  245.)  The  fol 
lowing  is  the  version  given  by  Lewis  and  Clark  of  the  tradi 
tion  of  the  Mandans,  on  the  upper  Mississippi: 

"The  whole  nation  resided  in  one  large  village  under 
ground  near  a  subterraneous  lake.  A  grapevine  extended 
its  roots  down  to  their  habitation  and  give  them  a  view  of  the 
light,  ^ome  of  the  most  adventurous  climbed  up  the  vine, 
and  were  delighted  with  the  sight  of  the  earth,  which  they 
found  covered  with  buffalo,  and  rich  with  every  kind  of  fruit. 
Returning  with  the  grapes  they  had  gathered,  their  country 
men  were  so  pleased  with  the  taste  of  them,  that  the  whole 
nation  resolved  to  leave  their  dull  residence  for  the  charms 
of  the  upper  region.  Men,  women  and  children  ascended  by 
means  of  the  vine;  and  when  about  half  the  nation  had 
reached  the  surface  of  the^ earth,  a  corpulent  woman,  who 
was  clambering  up  the  vine,  broke  it  with  her  weight  and 
closed  upon  herself  and  the  rest  of  the  nation  the  light  of  the 

When  the  Mandans  die,  -they  .expect  to  return  to  the 
original  seats  of  their  forefathers,  the  good  reaching  the 
ancient  village  by  means  of  the  lake,  which  the  burden  of 
sins  of  the  wicked  will  not  enable  them  to  pass.  We  might 
conjecture  upon1  general  grounds*  that  the  idea  of  an  under 
world  found  among  the  Mandans,  and  many  other  American 
tribes  sprang  from  the  same  sort  of  reasoning  as  has  .evi 
dently  given  rise  to  it  among  other  nations." 

Prince  Maximilian  of  New  Wied,  who  visited  the  Man- 
dans  subsequently  to  Lewis  and:  Clark,  and  learned  addit 
ional  particulars  respecting  their  belief  in  an  under-ground 
origin  tells  us  that  the  Mandans,  like  so  many  other  nations, 
supposed  the  world  to  be  divided  into  stages  and  stories.1 
These  were  '  eight  in  number,  four  of  them  v/erzabove  the 
earth,  and  four  below,  the  earth  itself  forming  the  fourth 
stage  from  the  bottom.  (Maximilian,  Travels  in  North 
America,  London  ed.  p.  336.)  There  seems,  therefore,  to 
be  very  little  room  for  doubt  as  to  the  original  character  of 
the  cave  of  the  Mandan  legend.  Among  the  Navajoes  we 
obtain  equally  satisfactory  evidence  touching  the  original  of 
this  legendary  cave.  Dr  Ten  Brock  tells  us  that  he  often 
conversed  with  the  Navajoes  on  the  subject  of  their  beliefs, 
and  he  gives  us,  among  other  particulars,  this  very  impor- 


tant  item:  ."The  old  men  say  that  the  world  (i.  e.  the  earth) 
is,  as  it  were,  suspended,  and  that  when  the  sun  disappears 
in  the  evening",  he  passes  under  and  lights  up  our  former 
place  of  abode,  until  he  again  reappears  at  morning  in  the 
east.  There  can  be  no  question  as  to  the  location  and  the 
real  character  of  the  cave  into  which  the  sun  descends  at 
evening,  and  from  which  at  morning"  he  comes  forth.  Under 
one  disguise  or  another,  this  cavern  occurs  in  legends  the 
world  over.  It  is  the  cave  which  the  Polynesian  Mani 
descends  to  visit  his  deserting  mother,  and  into  which 
Orpheus  descends  in  search  of  Eurydiee;  it  is  the  L/atinian 
cave,  in  which  Selene,  the  Moon,  wooes  Endymion,  the 
Setting  Sun.  Nor  need  we  be  disconcerted  because  the 
Navajoes  have  located  it  within  a  particular  mountain.  "  It 
would  seem  that  these  Indian  leg-ends  have  been  handed 
down  by  tradition  through  cycles  of  ages,  founded  upon  the 
declaration  of  the  Bible,  that  man  is  a  child  of  the  soil— that 
he  is  earth  born.  Professor  Campbell,  of  the  Presbyterian 
College,  Montreal,  believes  that  he  'has  found  the  key  to  the 
Hittite  inscriptions,  and  has  sent  ,^ie  result  of  his  investiga- 
jtions  to  the  Society  of  Biblical' Archaeology.  The  most 
•striking  and  important  feature  of  this  work  is  the  identity 
established  by  Professor  Campbell,  as  he  believes,  between 
the  Aztecs  and  the  Hittites.  He  concludes  a  statement  of 
his  discovery  in  the  "Montreal  Witness"  as  follows:  "It  is 
interesting  to  know  that  we  have  on  this  continent  the  re 
mains  of  a  people  who  played  a  great  part  in  ancient  history. 
It  is  also  gratifying  to  learn  that  by  the  .establishment  of  the 
Hittite  origin  of  the  Aztecs,  evolutionism  in  philology  and 
ethnology  will  receive  its  death  blow." 

There  is  a  clan  of  Choctaws  now  living  among  the 
Creeks  in  the  Creek  Nation,-  who  did  not  move  in  1832  with 
the  Choctaws  east  of  the  Mississippi  River  until  the  exodus 
of  the  Creeks  and  then  came  with  them  to  the  present  Creek 
nation  where  they  have  remained  to  this  day.  They  were 
known  when  living  east  of  the  Mississippi  River  "as.  the 
Hitchiti  or  Hichitichi  clan,  both  words  (as  given  above)  are 
corruptions  of  the  two  Choctaw  words  Hish-i  (hair)  It-ih 

Now  if  the  Aztecs  be  of  Hittite  origin,  and  the  Choctaws 
of  Aztec  origin,  of  which  there  is  great  probability  (if  /their 
ancient  traditions  may  be  relied  on)  may  not  the  Choctaw 
words  Hishi  Itih,  the  name  of  one  of  their  ancient  Iksas 
(clans)  be  itself  a  corruption  of  the  word  Hittite,  and  point 
ing  back  to  their  ancient  origin  in  the  eastern  world? 

A  few  of  the  Iksas  of  the  Choctaws,  at  the  advent  of  the 
missionaries  in  1818-20,  claimed  the  earth  to  be  their  mother, 


and  connected  a  tradition  of  their  origin  with  a  certain 
artifical  mound  erected  by  their  ancestors  as  a  memorial  of 
their  arrival  in  Mississippi  from  the  West  (Mexico)  of  which 
I  will  more  definitely  speak  elsewhere. 

But  though  the  remote  history  of  this  peculiar  people  is 
forever  hidden  in  the  darkness  of  by-gone  ages,  yet  they  had 
a  true  history,  which,  if  only  known,  would  have  presented 
as  many  interesting  and  romantic  features,  as  that  of  any 
of  the  races  of  mankind.  Truly,  would  there  not  be  found 
much  in  that  distant  period  of  their  existence  that  precedes 
their  introduction  to  the  White  Race,  which,  when  placed  in 
contrast  to  their  now  seemingly  inevitable  destiny  (extermi 
nation)  would  loudly  appeal  to  the  hearts  of  the  philanthro 
pists  and  Christians  of  these  United  States.  And  even  after 
their  introduction  to  the  Whites,  had  they  possessed  the 
same  desire. to  learn  their  history,  and  also  to  elevate  them 
in  the  scale  of  intelligence  and  morality,  as  they  did  in  get 
ting  possession  of  their  country  and  destroying  them,  in 
what  a  different  condition  would  that  race  of  people  be  to 
day,  and  what  interesting  and  instructive  narratives  would 
have  been  given  to  the  world?  What  interesting  narratives 
could  have  been  written  even  of  the  Natchez  in  the  days  of 
their  prosperity  and  power — those  worshippers  of  the  sun 
with  Eastern  rites!  What  too,  of  the  Grecian  fignres,  the 
letters  and  the  hieroglyphics,  which  have  been  found  repre 
sented  on  the  earthen  pottery  of  so  many  tribes  of  this  pe 
culiar  people's  work — a  people  which  might  have  been  better 
understood  and  more  comprehended,  but  for  shameful  mis 
representation  and  calumnious  falsehood  !  What,  also,  of 
the  once  powerful  Choctaw;  the  invincible  Chickasaw;  the 
intrepid  Muscogee  and  the  peerless  Seminole,  when  in  the 
pride  and  strength  of  their  respective  nationalities!  But  it 
is  to  be  greatly  regretted  that,  of  that  history  nothing  will 
ever  be  learned — not  even  its  alphabet,  as  the  mists  of  ages, 
have  drawn  their  impenetrable  curtain  over  all;  and  though 
the  remote  past  has  been  questioned,  still  no  response  ever 
comes,  except  through  the  vague  and  unsatisfactory  evi 
dence  of  an  ancient  people,  long  antedating  all  historical  in 
formation.  But  tribe  after  tribe  have  appeared  upon  the 
theater  of  life,  acted  their  part  in  its  drama,  and  then  passed 
off  into  the  silence  of  forgetfulness;  and  their  ancient  do 
mains  have  passed  from  the  hands  of  their,  long  line  of 
descendants  into  those  of  stranger  of  whom  they  never  knew 
or  even  heard;  and  who  have  left  behind  no  memorials  but 
embankments  of  earth  in  the  form  of  mounds  and  fortifica 
tions,  separate  and  in  combination,  scattered  all  over  the  land 
Li  numbers  an<3  magnitude  that  "awaken  and  exctte  the  curi- 


osity  of  the  beholder,  but  fail  to  satisfy;  yet  giving-  numer 
ous  and  satisfactory  evidences  of  the  foot-prints  of  a  long- 
vanished  people  and  the  prolonged  occupancy  of  the  North  N 
American  continent  by  the  Indian  risce  wliose  few  and  feeble 
descendants  still  ling-er  upon  the  stageof  life,  as  the  wretched 
and  miserable  words  ol  oppression  and  cruelty — a.  living-, 
breathing-  allegory  of  poverty  and  want;  since,  by  the  law  of 
force  we  extended  our.possessions  and  made  the  irrestiveness 
our  excuse  for  conquering  them,  and  then  plundering  them 
of  their  lands  and  homes,  and  as  each'territory  was  added,  a 
new  tribe  was'  encountered;  and  its  fears  and  res'.iveness  ,in 
like  manner  taken  advantage  of  as  our  avarice  dictated  that  it 
could  be  made  profitable  to  pur  pecuniary  interests.  And 
th'at  we  may  alike  bury  the '  remainirig-  few  in  the  grave  of  ig 
nominy,  every  thing  that  is"spok'en,  written,  or  publistied, 
concerning  that.  nb\y  conquered,  oppressed,  .impoverished,' 
hopeless  and  unhappy  people.  Is  but  a  reiterated  and  pro 
longed  mass  of  exaggerations,  misrepresentations  and  false 
hoods,  sent  broadcast  over  the  land  by-  government  officials, 
landed  experts,  and,. in  fact,  every  other  kind  of  unprincipled 
white  skins;  from  constable  to  congressmen,  and  from  land- 
sharks  to  governors,  who 'ride  across  the  Indians'  country 
on  railroads  and  gather  their  "wisdom"  upon  Indian  matters 
from  the  car  windows,  or  a  moments  chat  upon  the  platforms 
with  the  white  scums  which  infest  every  depot  in  their  coun 
try—thus  keeping  the  Indian  between  the  devil  and  his  imps 
—then  return  each  to  his  retreat,  there,  to  disgorge  their 
foul^souls  of  the  putrid  mass. 

Yet,  that  this  noble  but  wrongfully  abused  peo'ple,  to 
whom  Christopher  Columbus  gave  the  name  Indian,  from 
their  fancied  resemblance  to  the  people  of  India,  but  whose 
habits,  customs  and  characteristics  differed  so  widely  that 
it  may  be  truthfully  affirmed,  that  no  people  could  be  more 
dissimilar,  are  one  of  the  primitive  races  of  man-kind,  cannot 
be  questioned;  though  it  is  admitted  by  all  who  are  truly 
acquainted  with  them,  that  among  all  the  races  of  man-kind, 
few  have  exhibited  a  greater  diversity,  or,  if  it  may  be  so 
expressed,  greater  antithesis  of  character,  than  the  native 
North  American  Indian  warrior  before  humiliated  by  the 
merciless  hands  of  his  white  conquerors.  The  office  of  the 
chief  was  not  hereditary,  but  depended  upon  the  confidence 
entertained  in  him  by  his  warriors.  His  power  also  de 
pended  upon  his  personal  merit  and  the  confidence  reposed 
in  him  as  a  skillful  war-leader.  His  prerogative  consisted  in 
conducting  negotiations  of  peace  and  war;  in  leading  his 
warriors  against  the  enemies  of  their  country,  in  selecting 
the  place  of  encampment,  and  in  receiving  and  entertaining; 


strangers  of  note.  Yet,  even  in  those  he  was  controlled  to  a 
great  extent  by  the  views  and  inclinations  of  his  warriors. 
The  Indian  warrior  was  indeed  well  fitted  for  the  destiny  to 
which  nature  seemingly  had  adapted  him.  He  was  light  in 
form,  yet  sinewy  and  active,  and  unsurpassed  in  the  endur 
ance  of  protracted  fatigue  and  hardship;  strictly  temperate 
even  to  abstemiousness  requiring  but  little  food  when  upon 
the  war-path,  and  that  of  the  simplest  kind.  He  was  en 
dowed  with  a  penetrating  sagacity,  subtle  wit,  quick  con 
ception,  and  brilliant  imagination,  with  quick  and  acute 
sensibilities;  a  proud  and  fearless  spirit  was  stamped  upon 
his  face  and  flashed  from  his  black  and  piercing  eye;  easily 
aroused  by  the  appeals  of  eloquence;  his  language,  whose 
words  might  well  be  compared  to  gems  and  flowers  made  him 
truly  nature's  orator;  and  though  a  restless  warrior,  yet,  he 
was  generous  and  hospitable,  and  the  door  of  his  cabin  was 
always  open  to  the  wayfarer;  and  his  most  inveterate  enemy, 
having-  broken  bread  with  him,  could  repose  unharmed 
beneath  the  inviolable  sanctity  of  his  home.  In  war  he  was 
daring,  cunning,  reckless,  self-denying,  and  self-devoted;  in 
peace,  strictly  just,  generous,  proverbially  hospitable  to 
strangers  as  well  as  acquaintances,  modest,  revengeful, 
superstitious,  and  truthful  to  the  greatest  degree— ever  faith 
ful  to  the  last  to  his  promised  word.  Justly  could  the  North 
American  Indian  claim  as  having  no  lineal  descendant  of 
Ananias  and  Sapphira  among  his  race. 

Such  were  some  of  the  traits  of  this  peculiar  people. 
And  even  to  day  many  tribes  are  the  same  as  they  were 
centuries  ago,  still  clinging  to  their  ancient  habits  and 
customs  and  adhering  to  the  belief  of  their  ancient  theories, 
seeing  and  recognizing  alone  their  Great  Spirit  both  in 
animate  and  inanimate  nature,  And  why?  Because,  in  so 
few  instsnces,  have  the  renovating  principles  of  the  Bible 
been  presented  to  them  as  they  should  and  could  have  been. 

True  the  arts  of  civilization  as  possessed  by  ns  were 
unknown  by  the  Indians  prior  to  the  discovery  of  the  conti 
nent  by  the  White  Race,  still  its  seemingly  illimitable  forests 
were  alive  with  a  free,  independent  and  happy  people,  a  war 
like  race,  jealous  of  their  rights;  and  its  shades  and  glens 
rang  with  the  wild  hoyopa-tussaha  (Choctaw-warcry),  and 
the  echoes  of  its  hills  and  .mountains  threw  back  the"  defiant 
shout  of  many  a  gallant  warrior,  as  he  huried  along  the  war 
path  in  the  noon-tide  of  his  joyous  man-hood,  but  soon  to 
slumber  in  the  long  night  of  oblivion,  as  the  fatal  result  of 
his  unrestrained  zeal;  while  the  more  experienced  veteran 
made  his  movements  with  that  calm  deliberation  that  scorned 
every  appearance  of  haste.  Though  war-like,  yet,  they 


were  a  devotional  people,  to  their  beliefs,  founded  alone  upon 
the    teaching's      of  nature  —  their    only    light.     They  had 
their    good    "Great  Spirit"   and     their   evil.  "Great  Spirit" 
between    which    there    was   continual  strife  for    the    mas 
tery    and     possession    of    the    human    mind.       What     less 
or  more    have  we?      They  acknowledged    the    mysterious 
power    of    these    two    antagonistic     spirits,    and     that    in 
numerable    numbers    of  subordinate    spirits  waited    upon 
both.     In    what  do    they    differ    from    us   in    this?     They 
believed   a  spirit  governed    the  winds,  guided    the   clouds, 
and    ruled    in  all  things  that  inspired   fear;  thus   they   re- 
garded'the  elements,  and  all  nature,  as  spirits,  whose  images 
were  seen  and  whose  voices  were  heard  above,  beneath,  every 
where.     Little  differing  from  the  mythology  of  the   ancients 
Witchcraft  swayed  its  sceptre .  over  the  mind  of  the  poor. 
Indian,  whose  intellectual  light  emanated  alone  from  nature; 
yet  he  was  not  so  much  the  object  of  just  censure,  as    those 
who  had  the  Bible  and  yet  advocated   the  doctrine.     Remem 
ber   Cotton  Mather,  a    licensed    expounder    of  the    Sacred 
Scriptures,  and  his  numerous  adherents,  who  advocate^  and 
taught  the  doctrine  of  Witchcraft,    and    persecuted    their 
opposers,   even  to  the  burning  of  them  at  the  stake.     But  for 
the  delusive  beliefs  and  fears,  which  seemed  to  the  Indian 
as  truth,  that  encompassed  him  on  every  side  rendering  him 
the  ready  victim  of  the  wildest  superstition  and  dread,  he  has 
been  called  "The  Wild  Man  of  the  Woods,"  and  though  his 
religion  involved  the  varying  and  confused  belief  in  good  and 
evil  spirits  in  every  imaginary  creation  of  air,  earth,  and  sky 
conceivable  to  the  human  mind,  existing  with    not  a  ray  of 
intellectual  light  shedding  its  healing  beams  through  his  soul, 
is  it  just  that  he  should  be  reviled  for   his  seeming  apathy  in 
moral  and  intellectual  advancement  by  those  who  have  ever 
lived  within  the  circle  of  ever  good  and  truthful   influence, 
but  who  closed  nearly  every  avenue  by  which  the  hapless 
Indian   might   return   to   the  ,first  principles   of    truth   and 
intellectual  light?     Were  not  their  traditions   concerning  the 
creation  of  the  world,  and  those  of  their  own    origin;   and 
their  views  and  opinions  of  man,  more  worthy  of  praise  than 
contempt?     Was  not  their  belief  in  the  Great  Good  Spirit  by 
whom  all  things  were  made;  also  in  a  Great  Evil   Spirit,    who 
ever  plans  and  labors  to  counteract  all  the  good  and  benevolent 
designs  of  the  Great  and  Good  Spirit,  so  universal  among  all 
the  North  American  Indians,  and  their  great  respect  for,  and 
undeviating  and  unwearied  devotion  to,  the  Great  and  Good 
Spirit,  and  hate,  fear,  and  dread  of  the  Great  and  Evil  Spirit, 
a  silent  but  pungent  rebuke  to    their    white    scoffers  and 


defamers,  who  profess  so  much  concerning-  the  Deity, 
yet  exercise  so  little  of  a  devotional  spirit? 

But  whence  their  universal  belief  in  a  future  state  of  ex 
istence  after  death,  though  vague  their  ideas  in  regard  to 
future  rewards  and  punishments?  Whence  also  their  uni 
versal  belief  in  a  deluge  at  an  ancient  epoch,  which  destroyed 
all  mankind^  but  a  few?  Whence  their  belief  that  the  earth 
was  their  mother,  who  sent  them  forth  from  caves,  ravines, 
mounds  and  mountains?  Whence  the  belief  in  fatality — that 
the  fate  of  man  is  irrevocably  fixed?  to  which,  perhaps,  may 
be  attributed  their  stability  and  indifference  to  danger 
and  death?  Whence  their  belief  in  transmigration  and  thus 
claiming  relationship  with  the  beasts  of  the  field  and  the 
birds  of  the  air — '-expressive  of  an  idea,  it  seems,  of  a  foreign 
origin?  Whence  their  belief  that  the  race  of  animals  was 
first  created,  then  followed  the  creation  of  man?  From 
what  ancient  fountain  of  knowledge  obtained  they  these  va 
rious  views?  Was  it  intuitive?  How  manifest  their  pride 
also,  and  great  their  delight  in  having  their  traditions  and  le 
gends  point  back  to  local  origin,  even  to  that  of  mysterious 
revelation  with  all  the  quadrupeds  that  burrow  in  the  hidden 
recesses  of  the  earth,  differing  in  this  but  little  from  the 
mythology  of  the  ancients. 

Their  opinions  concerning  the  departure  of  the  spirit  at 
death  were  various.  Some  believed  that  it  lingered  for  a 
time  near  those  earthly  precincts  which  it  had  just  left,  and 
it  continued  still  to  be,  in  a  certain  manner,  akin  to  the 
earth.  For  this  reason,  provisions  were  placed  at  the  feet 
of  the  corpse  during  the  time  it  lay  on  its  elevated  scaffold, 
exposed  to  the  influence  of  light  or 'air.  The  deceased  had 
not  as  yet  entered  into  the  realm  of  spirits;  but  when  the 
flesh  had'  withered  away  from  the  bones,  these  were  buried 
with  songs  and  cries,  terminating  in  feasts  and  dances  pecu 
liar  to  the  ceremonies  of  disposing  of  the  dead.  Others  be 
lieve  that  when  the  spirit  leaves  the  body,  it  lingers  for  some 
time  before  it  can  be  wholly  separated  from  its  former  con 
ditions;  after  which  it  wanders  off  traversing  vast  plains  in 
the -moonlight.  At  length,  it  arrives  at  a  great  chasm  in  the 
earth,  on  the  other  side  of  which  is  the  land  of  the  blessed, 
where  there  is  eternal  spring  and  hunting  grounds  supplied 
with  great  varieties  of  game.  But  there  is  no  other  way  of 
crossing  this  fearful  gulf  l)ut  by  means  of  a  barked  pine  log 
that  lay  across  the  chasm,  which  is  round,  smooth  and  slip 
pery.  Over  this  the  disembodied  spirits  must  pass  if  they 
would  reach  the  land  of  a  blissful  immortality.  Such  as 
have  lived  purely  and  honestly  upon  earth  are  enabled  to  pass 
safely  over  the  terrific  abyss  on  the  narrow  bridge  to  the 


'land  of  eternal  happiness.  But  such  as  have  lived  wickedly. 
in  their  attempt  to  pass  over  on  the  log-,  are  sure  to  lose  then- 
Acting  and  fall  into  the  mighty  abyss  yawning-  below. 
Surely  this  is  not  a  very  objectionable,  idea  of  retribution  af 
ter  death.  However,  their  estimate  of  good  and  evil,  in 
'many  respects,  was  imperfect  and  circumscribed;  and  their 
ideas  of  future  rewards  and  punishments  after  death  seemed 
merely  the  the  reflex  of  their  earthly  joys  and  sorrows,  the 
natural  consequence  of  minds  not  enlightened  by  the  teach 
ings  of  the  Bible.  Therefore,  they  beheld  a  transformed  di 
vinity  in  animate  and  inanimate  nature,  in  every  thing  which 
lives  or  evinces  an  in-dwelling  power,  whom  they  sought  to 
propitiate  by  gifts  and  sacrifices.  Their  ".Medicine  Men" 
were  the  mediators  between  themselves  and  their  imagined 
deity;  these  "Medicine  Men"  were  believed,  by  means  of 
their  knowledge  of  the  mysteries  of  nature  and  the  power  of 
magic,  to  be  able  to  invoke  spirits,,  to  avert  evil,  to  heal  sick 
ness,  and  to  obtain  the  fulfillment  of  human  wishes.  These 
men  were  held  in  high  esteem  among  all  Indians  every 
where,  and  acted  in  the  capacity  of  both  priests  and  physi 
cians.  Their  medical  knowledge,  even  if  classed  -with  su 
perstitious  usages,  is  not  to  be  despised,  as  they  have  large 
acquaintance  with  healing  herbs  and  the  power  of  nature. 
The  virtues  of  the  Indian  race  are  well  known  to  those  who 
truly  know  them;  and  their  fidelity  in  keeping  a  promise, 
their  true  hospitality,  and  their  strength  of  mind  under  sor 
row  and  suffering,  merits  the  highest  praise.  They  had  no 
other  government  nor  governors  but  through  their  chiefs 
and  medicine  men.  The  former  had  but  little  power  and  re 
spect,  only  in  their  own  individual  character,  and  they 
dreaded  the  loss  of  their  popularity  in  their  tribe.  Thus 
the  Indian  warrior  was  truly  his  own  man,  free  and  inde 
pendent  loathing  all  restraints. 

What  but  sad  forebodings  can  fill  the  souls  of  the  feeble 
few,  when  contemplating  the  past  and  looking  to  the  future 
walled  up  before  them  to  that  extent,  that  all  action  and 
energy  of  their  lives  seem  at  an  end  and  their  only  hope  of 
refuge  in  the  grave? 

But  the  peagant  has  fled,  and  the  majority  of  those  who 
gave  it  such  depth  of  interest  to  their  destroyers  have  long 
since  passed  away  into  humble  and  nameless  yet  honorable 
graves,  into  which  the  living  few,  in  vacant  desolation,  are 
fast  falling,  bewildered  and  counfounded  amid  the  toils  that 
have  been  skillfully  and  successfully  spread  for  them;  and 
into  which  when  fallen  and  hopelessly  entangled,  they  ap 
pealed  to  our  mercy  but  to  find  it  amy,th.  Alas,  whatacruel 


and  inconsistent  system  has  been  practiced  toward  the  Red 
Race  from  the  time  we  enticed  them  under  our  jurisdiction, 
as  wards,  to  the  present  day  —  a  system,  calculated  in  its 
very  nature  to  uncivilize  rather  than  to  civilize  them, — de 
stroying  all  confidence,  all  love  and  all  respect;  yea,  stifling- 
all  the  social  affections  of  the  heart  and  the  generosity  of 
every  noble  sentiment;  spreading  devastation  and  desolation 
among  them — then  to  be  cursed  and  pronounced  a  blotch 
upon  the  fair  face  of  nature,  while  we,  influenced  alone  by" 
that  degrading  venality,  that  acknowledges  no^criterion  but 
success,  closed  the  heart  and  hand  of  our  charity  against 
them  and  shut  our  eyes  on  their  woes — hearts,  hands  and 
eyes  never  to  be  opened  until  the  last  of  the  race  is  extermi 
nated,  and  there  will  be  left  no  Indian  possessions  to  excite 
our  avarice;  and  we  be  left  to  boast  our  achievements  in  ex 
terminating  a  helpless  people  whom  to  conquer  was  coward 
ice — the  checkered  features  of  whose  prehistoric  history  are 
vStill  dimly  shadowed  in  the  memorials  scattered  around. 

Yet  their  history,  shorn  as  it  is  of  its  antique  and  ro 
mantic  features  by  the  march  of  civilization  of  the  White 
Race  with  its  accompanying  vices  and  follies,  which  were  pre 
sented  before  them  in  proportion  to  its  virtues  as  ten  to  one, 
and  thus  rendered  sad  and  mournful,  is  still  interesting  ; 
and,  I  might  justly  add,  instructive.  But  passing  as  theyr 
have  through  many  changes  of  a  long  pre-historic  age,  as 
well  as  that  of  an  imperfectly  known  history,  the  events  of 
their  fortunes  seem  like  the  incidents  of  a  fairy  tale  ;  and 
while  we  regard  with  admiration  the  many  known  traits  of 
their  character,  yet  we  can  but  be  astonished  that  to  so 
many  of  them  natural  refinement  supplied  the  external  defi 
ciencies  of  accomplished  instruction  denied  by  their  situa- 
.  tion,  while  a  sense  of  the  proper,  under  every  variety  of  cir— 
1  cumstances,  appeared  intuitive  ;  and  many  of  their  names 
and  ^patriotic  deeds  are  worthy  of  being  transmitted  to  the 
remotest  posterity,  accompanied  by  those  honorable  and 
considerate  epithets  which  flattery  can  never  invest,  and  are 
never  deceitful ;  and  had  they  have  had  a  written  language,, 
their  native  historians  would  have  presented  many  things  as 
interesting  and  dramatic  asxany  of  those  of  ancient  or  mod 
ern  renown.  But  as  it  is,  they  may  be  justly  styled  mar 
tyrs — uncrowned  .and  uncanonized ;  since  they  are  still 
known  to-day  to  millions  of  the  people  of  these  United  States  un 
der  stereotyped  appellation  of  "savages,  "and  to  an  equal  num 
ber  of  others,  as  "Heathen  Barbarians  ;"  though  the  Indians 
belong  not  to  either  department  of  that  scientific  knowledge 
in  which  they  have  been  enrolled  by  those  whose  extreme  ig 
norance  is  thus  made  manifest ;  and  who  feel  it  an  impera- 


tive  duty  to  assume  a  countenance  indicative  of  a  holy  horror 
•  and  puerile  fear  at  the  very  mention  of  the  word  Indian  ;  and 
should  they  chance  to  meet  one  upon  the  high-way  serious 
convulsions  would  inevitably  be  the  result ;  while. others,  of 
.somewhat  greater  intrepidity,  have  beenknown  to  venture  even 
.into  the  presence  of  an  Indian,  their  so-called  devil  incar 
nate  ;  and,  to  display  their  imagined  heroic  daring,  they 
ipoint  the  finger  of  scorn  at  him  and  question  concerning 
him  and  his  race  in  the  language  of  ridicule  and  contempt 
v(to  which  I  have  oft  been  an  eye  witness  when  passing 
.through  the  Irfdian  Territory)  with  that  apparent  instinct 
^which  makes  one  feel  that  humanity,  at  least  that  much  of  it 
as  professed  by  such  ignorant  and  imbecile  yet  highly  self- 
conceited  specimens  of  mortality,  must  be  closly  allied  to 
Darwin's  progenitor  of  man  ;  and  to  whom  the  words  of 
Schiller  are  justly  applicable — "Heaven  and  Earth  was  in 
vain  against  a  dunce." 

Liberty,  equality,  and  fraterntiy  have  ever  been  found 
to  be  cardinal  principles  among  the  North  American  Indians, 
from  their  first  acquaintance  with  the  White  Race  even  to 
the  present  day.  All  stood,  and  still  stand  upon  the 
same  social  level.  No  one  regarded  himself  better,  i'n  any 
manner  whatever,  than  his  neighbor;  none  turned  up  the  lip 
of  scorn,  or  sneered  at  the  misfortunes  of  one  of  his  tribe. 
The  members  of  each  tribe  lived  in  perfect  harmony  to 
gether,  constituting,  in  every  particular,  one  great,  loving, 
confiding  brother-hood.  The  clan  was  the  unit  of  political 
and  social  life  with  all  tribes.  The  individual  was  never  con 
sidered.  Hence  to  insult,  wrong  or  injure  a  member  of  a 
tribe  was  actually  to  insult,  wrong  and  injure  the  whole  tribe; 
thus  each  tribe  held  the  other  responsible  for  the  actions  of 
its  individual  members  according  to  the  nature  of  the  offence. 
In  like  manner  were  also  construed  all  favors.  Hence  when 
a  favor  was  bestowed  upon  any  individual  of  a  tribe,  it  was 
accepted  as  bestowed  upon  each  member  of  the  tribe.  (He 
.who  was  a  friend  to  one  was  regarded  as  equally  a  friend  to 
all,  and  as  such  was  received  into  the  confidence  and  friend 
ship  of  the  entire  tribe.  What  feature  in  the  characteristics 
of  any  nation  of  people  more  commendable  than  this?  Yet 
they  are  charged  as  being  in  want  of  a  single  redeeming 
trait  of  character. 

Despotism,  oppression, '  avarice,  fraud,  misrepresenta 
tion  in  trade,  were  things  absolutely  unknown  in  all  their 
own  tribal" relations,  and  in  their  dealings  with  neighboring 
tribes.  Therefore  were  they,  at  first,  so  easily  swindled  in 
trade  by  unprincipled  white  men;  since  the  white  man  hid  the 
defects  of  his  article  of  trade  tinder  falsehoods,  and  the 


Indian  openly  exposed  the  defects  of  his  in  truth.  Though  it 
was  easy  to  cheat  an  Indian  once,  to  accomplish  it  the  second 
time  was  a  more  difficult  task.  His  confidence  was  gone 
never  again  to  be  secured.  I  recollect  a  little  incident  of  this 
nature  among  the  Choctaws  when  living  east  of  the  Mississip 
pi  river.  A  young  Choctaw  was  cheated  in  a  trade  with  a 
white  man,  and  when  censured  for  making  the  trade,  he 
calmly  replied:  "Pale-face  cheat  me,  me  sorry;  pale-face 
cheat  me  twice,  me  big  fool."  After  that  as  a  matter  of 
course,  he  would  never  believe  a  word  that  a  white  man  would 

Their  tradition,  always  based  on  facts  though  abound 
ing  perhaps  with  many  errors  by  misinterpretations  and 
corruptions,  in  the  cycles  of  ages  through  which  they  have 
passed,  were  no  less  dear  to  him,  making  a  stainless  history 
such  as  few  nations  had,  save  in  those  pure  days  of  yore 
when  men  love  truth,  justice  and  honor  more  than  gold;  but 
while  all  those  ancient  places  are  still  thronged  with  tradi 
tions,  they  are  over  grown  with  the  weeds  of  popular  fancy 
like  ruins  of  ancient  castles  covered  with  ivy;  yet,  the  names 
of  some  of  them  are  still  remembered  by  the  aged  Indians 
and  sometimes  mentioned  in  their  ancient  traditions,  but  the 
namesof  theirpredecessors  have  completely  disappeared  from 
their  memories,  and  the  time  will  never  come  in  which  these 
secrets  of  the  centuries  will  be  remembered  or  ever  known 

As  aids  to  memory  they  used  various  devices,  among 
which  belts  of  wampum  were  the  chief.  Wampum  was  truly 
the  archives  of  the  tribe  among  all  North  American  Indians. 
It  was  made  of  dressed  deer  skin,  soft  and  pliable  as  cloth, 
and  interwoven  with  various  shells  cut  into  uniform  siz.e, 
carefully  polished,  strung  together  and  painted  in  different 
colors,  all  of  which  were  significant;  white  being  the  emblem 
of  peace  and  friendship;  red,  the  symbol  of  hostility  and  war. 
As  the  colors  of  the  wampum  were  significant,  so  also  were 
the  length  and  breadth  of  these  belts,  and  also  .the*  peculiar 
arrangements  of  the  differently  painted  strings  attached, 
each  and  all  fully  understood  by  the  Indians  alone.  A  belt  of 
wampum  was  presented  to  one  tribe  by  another  as  a  remem 
brance  token  of  any  important  event  that  was  communicated. 
They  had  many  and  various  kinds  of  wampum;  some  in  the 
form  of  belts  of  different  breadth  and  length;  some  in  strings 
of  various  width  and  length,  all  reaching  back  in  regular  order 
to  centuries  of  the  remote  past,  with  an  accuracy  incredible 
to  the  White  Race. 

The  wampum  was  the  Indians'  history  the  chronicles  of 
the  past;  and  the  readers  of  each  clan  of  the  tribe,  from  one 



generation  to  another,  were  carefully  and  thoroughly  instruc 
ted  by  their  predecessors  for  that  particular  business  and 
were  held  in  the  highest  esteem  by  all  Indians  everywhere. 

Bundles  of  small  round  sticks  were  also  used  to  assist 
them  in  accurately  keeping-  the  number  of  days  that  would 
intervene  between  the  day  agreed  upon  that  anything  should 
be  done,  and  the  day  upon  which  the  bundle  had  been  pre 
sented,  one  stick  being  drawn  from  the  bundle  at  the  termi 
nation  of  each  day  and  thrown  away;  which  duty  was  never 
forgotten  nor  neglected  to  be  done  by  him  to  whom  it  was  en 
trusted.  A  long  string  was  also  used,  having  as  many  knots 
tied  in  it  as  the  number  of  days  that  were  desired  to  be  re 
membered;  at  the  close  of  each  day,  as  the  withdrawing  of  a 
stick  from  the  bundle,  so  a  knot  was  untied.  This  custom 
of  using  a  string  was  also^practiced,  it  is  said,  by. 'the  ancient 
Persians,  which  is  confirmed  by  Herodotus  in  his  statement, 
that  "Darius  gave  to  his  allies  a  string  with  sixty  knots  tied 
in  it,  and  told  them  to  untie  one  knot  at  the  close  of  each  day; 
and,  if  he  had  not  returned  by  the  time  the  last  one  was  un 
tied,  they  could  go  home." 

Pictures,  rudely  carved  on  rocks  and  trees,  were  used  to 
convey  information,  each  figure  being  a  true  symbol  under 
stood  and  fully  comprehended  by  the  Indians  wherever 

,  The  Indians  regarded  their  majestic  forest  trees  with 
emotional  pride  ;  and,  as  they  reclined  under  their  broad  ex 
panding  shades,  they  listened  to  their  solemn  whispers  as 
possessing  a  mysterious  connection  with  themselves,  and  as 
sharing  with  them  their  hopes  and  fears,  their  joys  and  sor 
rows,  and  they  grieved  to  see  them  fall  before  the  ax  of  civil 
ization  ;  since,  between  the  Native  American  and  the  White 
Race,  who  only  saw  lumber  in  the  forest  tree  and  money  in 
the  lumber,  there  is  the  same  difference  existing  that  there 
is  between  the  man  who  hears  the  most  refined  music  only 
as  a  senseless  noise-and  him  who  hears  it  in  messages  of  di 
vine  import  to  his  soul  ;  thus  it  is  that  Nature  bestows  on 
man  only  that  which  he  is  able  to  receive  from  her  ;  to  one 
lumber  and  the  jingle  of  money  ;  to  the  other  beauty  and 
harmony.  Oft  have  I  been  an  eye  witness  to  the  sensibility  of 
this  people  to  the  charms  of  natural  objects,  though  accused 
of  its  utter  want :  and  with  emotions  of  pleasure  listened  to 
their  expressive  words  of  delight  in  admiration  of  the  grand 
and  beautiful  in  nature,  as  they  pointed  the  finger  of  unas- 
sumed  pride  to  their  magnificent  forests,  and  the  majestic 
appearance  of  the  old  patriarchs  of  their  woods — seeming-  to 
be  charmed  with  their  grand  forests,  the  beauty  of  their 
flower  bedecked  prairies,  the  purity  of  their  streams,  the 


Brightness  of  their  skies  and  the  salubrity"  of  their  climate. 
To  the  peculiarly  fascinating1  eharms  of  which,  as  they  ap 
peared  to  my  admiring  gaze  seventy  years  ago  in  the  ancient 
domains  of  the  Choctaws  and  Chickasaws,  east  of  the  Mis- 
.sissippi  river,  I  can  testify  from  personal  observation,  as  it 
.also  was  the  home  of  my  birth  ;  nor  can  time  nor  distance 
-ever  erase  from  memory  their  grandeur  and  beauty  ;  and, 
to-day,  their  seeming  power  is  exercised  over  me  in  calling 
up  the  reveries  and  picturings  of  the  past  clothing  reality 
with  the  illusions  of  the  memory  and  imagination.  But  to 
many,  nature,  in  her  primitive  grandeur,  is  but  an  indiffer 
ent  beauty,  though  she  stops  to  smile,  to  caress  and  enter 
tain  with  exhaustless  diversion  her  admiring  and  loving 

So  to  the  Indian  also,  the  grandeur  and  beauty  of  his 
ancient  forests  left  a  memory  which  abides  as  a  constant 
source  of  gratification,  as  he  reflects  upon  their  natural 
beauty  upon  which  his  eyes  so  oft  had  rested,  and  from 
which  his  soul  had  gathered  a  noble  conception  of  the  sym 
phonies  from  which  it  drew  its  pure  aspirations  ;  .and  truly, 
no  one  who  has  any  conception  of  the  grand  and  beautiful, 
-could  have  gazed  upon  the  outstretched  panorama  of  their 
forests  as  presented  in  their  ancient  domains,  without  being 
lastingly  impressed  with  the  marvelous  picture,  in  which 
there  stood  forth  most  striking  beauties  in  the  form  of  ma 
jestic  trees  and  green  swards,  on  whose  bosoms  rested,  in 
gentle  touch,  most  inviting  shades  free  of  all  under-growth 
of  bushes  but  covered  with  luxuriant  grass  interspersed 
with  innumerable  flowers  of  great  variety,  rivaling  the  most 
beautiful  flower  garden  of  art.  Never  have  I  witnessed 
any  thing  more  grand  and  impressive  than  the  Mississippi 
forests  presented  when  left  by  the  Choctaws  and  Chicka 
saws  as  an  inheritance  .to  the  Whites.  Then  and  there  na 
ture,  in  all% her  diversified  phases,  from  the  finite  to  the  in 
finite,  and  from  the  infinitessimal  to  the  grand  aggregate  of 
knowledge,  was  full  of  instruction  ;  by  which  she  would 
teach  man  his  duty  to  his  God,  to  his  fellow  man  and  to  him 
self.  But  alas,  how  few  ever  heed  the  symbolic  whispers  of 
her  low,  sweet  voice  ! 

It  was  truly  a  vast  wilderness  of  trees  entirely  free  of 
all  undergrowth  except  grass  with  that  peculiar  stillness 
that  attested  the  absence  of  man,  and  possessing  a  vastness 
and  boundless  extent,  '  and  uninterrupted  contiguity  of 
shade,  which  prevented  the  attention  from  being  distracted, 
.and  allowed  the  mind  to  the  solitude  of  itself,  and  the  imagi 
nation  to  realize  the  actual  presence  and  true  character  of 
that  which  burst  upon  it  like  a  vivid  dream.  Truly  that  is 



happiness  that  breaks  not  the  link  between  man  and  nature. 
The  Indians  of  this  continent  openly  acknowledged  and 
sincerely  believed  in  the  One  Great  and  Good  Spirit,  and  also 
in  the  One  Great  and  Evil  Spirit;   to  the  former  they   gave 
divine  homage  with  a  devotion   that  well  might  put  to  shame 
many  of  those  who  have   lived,  a  life  time   under  the  light   of 
the  Gospel  dispensation,  with  scarcely   a  devotional  emotion. 
Towards  the  latter  they  cherished  the  greatest  fear  and  dread 
and  sought  continually  the  aid  of  the  Good  Spirit  in  averting 
the  dreaded  machinations  of  the  Evil  Spirit,  therefore  every 
warrior  had   his  totem;  i.  e.  a  little  sack  filled   with  various 
ingredients,  the    peculiarities    of  which    were   a    profound 
secret  to  all  but  himself;  nor  did  any  Indian  ever   seek  or  de 
sire  to  know  the  contents  of  another's  totem,  it  was  sacred  to 
its    possessor    alone.     I  have   more   than   once    asked  some 
particular    warrior   friend   concerning  the   contents   of   his 
totem  but  was  promptly  refused- with  the  reply:  "You  would 
not  be   any   the   wiser  thereby."     Every   warrior   kept   his 
Totem  or  "Medicine"  about  his  person,  by  which  he  sincere 
ly  believed  he  would  be  enabled  to  secure  the  aid  of  the  Good 
Spirit  in  warding  off  the  evil  designs  of  the  Evil  Spirit,  in  the 
existence  of  which  they  as  sincerely  believed,  and  to   whom 
they  attributed  the  cause  of  all  their  misfortunes,  when   fail 
ing  to  secure  the  aid  of  the  Good   Spirit.     Therefore,   each 
and  every  warrior  of  the  tribe.,  with  eager  zeal,  endeavored  to 
put  himself   in   direct   communication   with  the   Great  and 
Good   Spirit.     There   was  but  little    difference   between   the 
"Indian   Magician"   and   the     Indian   "Medicine   Man,"   but 
when  a.  warrior  had  attained  to  that  high  and  great!}'  desired 
point  of    direct   communication   with   the   Great  and   Good 
Spirit,  and  had  impressed  that  belief  upon  his  tribe  as  well  as 
himself,  he  at  once  became  an  object  of  great  veneration, 'and 
was   henceforth    regarded    by   all   his    tribe,    regardless  of 
age     or    sex,    as    a  '  great    "Medicine  Man,"    upon    whom 
had    been     conferred      supernatural     powers     to     foretell 
coming  events,  to    exorcise  evil    spirits,     and    to    perform 
all    kinds    of   marvelous     works.      But     few    attained     the 
coveted   eminence;   yet   he   who  was   so   fortunate,   at   once 
reached  the  pinnacle  of   his  earthly  aspirations.     But  before 
entering  upon  his  high  and  responsible  duties,  and  assuming 
the  authority  of  a    diviner — a  graduated    Medicine  Man,    in 
other   words,  with   a    recognized   and   accepted    diploma,    he 
must  also  have  enlisted  in  his  service  one  or  more    lesser 
spirits,  servants  of  the  Great  and  Good  Spirit,  as  his  allies  or 
mediators,  and  to  secure  these  important  and    indispensable 
auxiliaries,  he   must  subject  himself  to  a  severe  and   testing 
ordeal.     He  now  retires   alone  into  the   deep  solitudes   of  his 


native  forest  and  there  engages  in  meditation,  self  examina 
tion,  fasting-  and  prayer  during  the  coming  and  going  of 
many  long  and  weary  days,  and  even  weeks.  And  all  that  for 
what  end?  That  he  might,  by  his  supernatural  power  thus 
attained,  be  enabled  to  gratify  his  ambition  in  playing  the 
tyrant  over  his  people  through  fear  of  him?  Or  that  he  might 
be  enabled  the  better  to  gratify  the  spirit  of  avarice  that 
rankled  in  his  heart?  Neither,  for  both  tyrant  and  avarice 
were  utterly  unknown  among,  all  Indians. 

What  then?  First,  that  he  might  ever  be  enabled,  by 
his  influence  attained  with  the  great  and  Good  Spirit,  toward 
off  the  shafts  of  the  Evil  Spirit,  and  thus  protect  himself  from 
seen  and  unseen  dangers,  and  also  be  successful  in  the  ac 
complishment  of  all  his»  earthly  hopes  and  wishes.  * 

Second.  That  he  might  be  a  benefactor  to  his  tribe,  by 
being  enabled  to  divine  future  events,  and  thus  forewarn 
them  of  approaching  danger  and  the  proper  steps  to  take  to. 
successfully  avoid  it;  also  to  heal  the  sick, , etc.  True,  the 
fearful  ordeal  of  hunger,  thirst,  fatigue  wrought  their  part 
in  causing  his  imagination  to  usurp  the  place  of  reason,  fill 
ing  his  fevered  mind  with  the  wildest  hallucinations  and 
rendering  him  a  fit  subject  to  believe  anything  and  every 
thing.  Yet,  no  doubt,  when  he  left  his  place  of  prayer  and 
self-examination  and  returned  to  his  people,  he  sincerely  be 
lieved  that  he  had  been  admitted  to  the  special  favor  of  the 
great  and  Good  Spirit  and  was  fully  prepared  to  exercise  his- 
newly  acquired  supernatural  attainments  for  his  own  bene 
fit  and  to  the  interest  of  his  tribe.  Smile  not  at  this,  per 
haps,  to  you,  seeming  folly  of  one  who  thought,  reasoned  and 
acted  as  taught  by  the  feeble  light  of  nature  alone  ;  with 
•such  a  devotional  spirit,  what  would  he  have  been  if  enlight 
ened  by  the  renovating  influences  of  the  precepts  of  the  Son 
of  God  ?  But  I  ask,  if  this  doctrine  of  the  spiritual  world,  the-, 
disembodied  spirits  of  our  departed  loved  ones  everywhere 
about  us,  and  the  power  of  communication  with  them,  has 
not  sprung  into  new  life  among  us  in  this  boasted  enlightened 
age  illumined,  by  the  glorious  light  of  the  Bible  shining 
around  us  for  centuries  past  ?  though  the  doctrine  was  dis 
carded  by  the  Indians  at  once  and  forever,  so  soon  as  the 
light  of  the  Bible  shone  into  their  untutored  minds.  But 
alas,  we  still  speak  of  them  as  savages  and  barbarians  ;  yet 
should  not  emotions  of  shame  fill  our  hearts,  when  the  simi 
larity  of  belief  between  the  unlettered"  Indians  of  seventy- 
five  years  ago,  and  the  boasted  intelligence  and  Christian 
civilization  of  the  "Anglo  Saxon"  of  the  present  day,  is  so 
manifest?  Need  we  try  to  deny  that  modern  Spiritualism 


its  counterpart  in  the  philosophy  'of  the  ^North  Ani'erican 
Jndians  of  three-quarters  of  a  century  ^ag-p?;;  .:  ;•  . 

May  we  justly  scorn  the  Indian  wtie&'iiot  free  ourselves 
of  his  ,  ancient  superstitious  follies,  ;  btit^tilf  hz£v$  :  so  large 
4  portion,  thoug-h  long-  discarded  by  the  civilized  tribes,  se 
cretly  -hidden  away  in  the  strata  of  our  boasted  common 
,sense,  besides  being  greatly  tinctured  with  the  fashionable 
skepticism  (unknown  to  all  Indians)  of  the  present  civilized 
but  fearfully  corrupt  age  ? 

The  Indians  reasoned  from  the  known  to  the  unknown 
-differing  from  us  only  in  that  they  had  no  accumulated 
knowledge  to  guide  them  but  their  traditions.  And  when 
we  take  into  consideration  the  great  difficulties  with  which 
Ihey  had  to  contend  and  overcome  in  the  struggle  up  the 
nigged  hill  of  civilization  and  Christianity,  as  presented  to 
vthem  with  all  their  manifested  contradictions  and  enigmas 
by  the  ''Pale-faces,"  it  is.  a  matter  of  profound  astonishment 
that  they  have  achieved  as  much  as  they  have. 

Alas,  that  our  universal  error,  in  all  our  dealings  with 
that  people,  should  consist  in  the  deplorable  yet  inexcusable 
failure  to  perceive  how  greatly  their  ideas  differed  from  our 
own  in  regard  to  every  thing  appertaining  to  our  civilization, 
Christianity  and  love  of  gain  ;  and  at  the  same  time  forget 
ting  that  the  idea  of  civil  government  was  with  us  of  long  and 
slow  growth,  takin'g  many  ages  to  develop  us  from  our  own 
ignorant  and  savage  ancestry  to  our  present  enlightened 
state  ;  and  how  greatly  to  be  regretted  is  the  fact,  that  our 
feelings  and  actions  are  still  so  influenced  and  governed  by 
deplorable  ignorance  of  the  true  nature  and  characteristics 
of  the  Indian,  and  so  swayed  by  a  foolish  prejudice  against 
him,  and  so  led  captive  by  self-conceit  and  imagined  superi 
ority  over  him  by  nature,  that  we  do  not  and  will  not  justly 
and  impartially  weigh  the  evidence  before  us  ;  through  fear, 
it  truly  seems,  that  our  preconceived  opinions  may  be  proved 
to  be  formed  in  error,  if  tested  by  the  knowledge  of  the  truth 
that  would  be  gained  by  investigation. 

The'  Indian  is  accused  of  stolidity.  Wherefore?  Is  it 
because  he  can  and  does  control  his  tongue  when  the  white 
man  would  fly  into  a  violent  passion?  Is  it  because  the  Indian 
.never  speaks  evil  of  any  one,  not  even  of  a  personal  enemy, 
.but  keeps  his  thoughts  and  opinions  of  others  in  the  secret 
recesses  of  his  own  breast,  while  the  reverse  is  an  innate 
•characteristic  of  the  White  Race?  Is  it  because  the  Indian 
has  learned  never  to  talk  to  the  purpose  of  what  is  not  the 
purpose  to  talk  of,  but  in  which  the  white  man  has  long  since 
proved  himself  an  adept  to  the  entire  satisfaction  of  himself 
and  all  man-kind?  If  all  this,  seemingly  so  mysterious  to  his 


•defamers  who' would  search  earth  and  heaven  to  find  an 
.accusation/against  an  Indian,  merits-  the  title  Stolidity,  then 
indeed  is  the  Indian  meritorious,  and  that  is/the  whole  of  it 
in-  a'li'u't  "shell. 

He  has  also  been  ridiculed  as  being"  an  idiot  for  carrying" 
with  him  his  mystic  Medicine-pouch,  and  relying-  on  it  for 
safety  both  in  seen  and  unseen  dangers.  Yet  in  this  how 
little  did  he^  differ  from  thousands  of  the  White  Race  of  even 
today  with  all  their  professed  culture,  among  whom  there 
can  still  be  detected  a  foolish  superstition,  a  lingering1  sur 
vival  of  Fetchism,  for  it  can  be  nothing-  else.  See  the  still 
lingering  belief  in  Witchcraft  and  magic  charms;  behold  the 
horse  shoe  still  nailed  over  the  door  as  a  guarantee  to  "good 
luck"  and  the  prevention  of  injury  from  the  >jnidnight  ca 
rousals  of  witches;  view  the  stig-ma  placed  upon  the  *good 
names  of  one  of  the  days  of  the  week — unfortunate  Friday! 
Contemplate  the  Charm-string-  composed  of  various  childish 
g-ew-gaws  dangling  from  the  watch-chain  of  the  empty  and 
unbalanced  head  of  the  "pale-face"  dude,  and  also  its  counter 
part  around  the  neck  of  the  empty-headed  little  Miss  of 
"sweet  sixteen"!  Think  of  the  harmless  little  bug  snugly 
ensconced  in  a  crack  of  the  wall  humming  its  lulla-by  in  token 
of  its  happiness  yet  is  stigmatized  with  the  appellation  of 
"Death-watch,"  the  fore-runner  of  the  grim  monster  so 
much  feared  and  dreaded  by  frail  humanity,  and  many  more 
that  might  be  mentioned!  What  are  all  these  but  a  lingering 
spirit  of  superstition,  legitimate  offsprings  Fetishism,  and 
differing  in  nothing  from  the  Indian's  totem.  Yet.  the 
Indian  is  regarded  as  meriting  condemnation  in  this  world 
.and  damnation  in  the  next  because  he  still  adheres,  in.  some 
few  instances  where  the  truths  of  the  Bible  have  never 
reached  him,  to  his  ancient  superstitious  belief  and  so-called 
.savage  folly,  but  the  white  man,, cradled  in  the.  lap  of  Chris 
tianity  and  yet  carrying  secretly  in  his -breast  his  totems, 
verily,  might  not  the  reproving  language  of  Saul  to  Bar  Jesus 
be  justly  applied  to  us  in  all  our  dealing  with  the  Red  .Race 
from  the  Alpha  to  the  Omega? — ,"O,  full  of  .all  subtlety,  and 
all  mischief,  thou  child  of  the  devil,  tftou  enemy  of  all 
righteousness,  wilt  thou  not  cease  to  pervert  the  right  ways 
•of  the  Lord?"  /  ,  '.,'*, 

^  Again:  The  Indians'  passion  for  war,  so  erroneously 
proverbial  among  us,  has  ever  been  shamefully  exaggerated. 
True,  their  passion  for  war,  when  engaged  in  it  for  the  re 
dress  of  real  or  imaginary  wrongs,  was  unequalled  :  and,  in 
defense  of  their  country  has  few  parallels  in  the  history  of 
nations,  of  which  we  have  the  full  attestation  of  experience  ; 
though  we  fought. them,  taking  all  things  into  consideration, 


the  advantages  of  fifty  to  one.     But  they  seldom  made  war 
upon  each  other  actuated  alone  by  the  motives  of  ambitious 
conquests  for  national  or  personal  aggrandizement,  as  far  as 
has  been  ascertained  from  actual  proof.     They  had  no'  mo 
tive  for  such  a  war,  as  it  is  well  known  to  all  who  have  at 
tained  any  true  knowledge  of  the  North  American  Indians 
worthy  of  notice,  since  avarice,  in  a  national  or  personal  point 
of  view  with  all  its  baneful   consequences,   was   utterly   un 
known  to  the  ancient  Indians  of  this  continent,  as  it  is  to  this 
day  to  their  pnre  blooded  descendants.     Their  desperation 
in  resisting-  our  encroachments  upon  their  rights  gave  birth 
to  the   false   charge   that  "they  are  a  blood-thirsty  race  de 
lighting  in  human  gore  ;"  but  there  is  no  proof  basedv  upon 
truth  that  they  are  meritorious  to  a  greater  extent  than  any 
other  race  of  mankind   to   bear   such   reproach.     Nor   were 
their  tactics  of  war,  so  loudly  condemned  by  us,  any  more 
irreconcilable  to  justice  and  humanity,  than  our  own.     We 
stigmatize  them  writh  the   name   of   "cowards"   for   limiting- 
their  fighting  to  ambuscade  and  surprise  ;  and  which  we,  if 
out-witted  and  defeated  in  a  battle  wTith  them,   pronounced, 
with  assumed  horror,  a  "cruel  massacre  ;"  yet,  truth  posi 
tively  declares  that  we  too  have  adopted   equally   with   them 
the  ambuscacle,  the  surprise,  and  every  art  of  war  known  to 
us  to  out-general  them  in  cunning,  in  treachery,  and  in  de 
ceit;  but  call  it,  if  we  succeed,   "a  glorious  military  strate 
gy,"  as   if   that   would^make   it  appear  more  honorable  or 
justifiable  in  the  sight  of  truth,  justice  and  humanity  or  that 
of  a  just  God.     Absolute  necessity  compelled  the  Indians  to 
resort  to  ambuscade  and  surprise  in  their  wars  with   us-,  on 
account  of  our  vast  superiority  over  them  in  numbers,  skill, 
and  instruments  of  warfare.     What  hope   of   success   could 
they   entertain   by   coming  out   in   the  open  field  with  ^en 
feeble  bows  and  arrows  and    few   worthless   old   guns,,   and 
stand  up  before  our  deadly  rifles  and  destructive  batteries  £ 
They  would  simply  have  acted  the  part  of  fools  in   so   doing. 
They  fought  as  best  they  could,  and  just  as  we,  or  any  other 
people,  would  have  fought  under  similar  circumstances. 

We  charge  them  with  deception  and  being  full  of  all  man 
ner  of  hypocrisy  in  all  places  and  at  all  times,  even  in  the 
social  and  business  relations  of  life.  A  more  false  charge 
was  never  made  against  anyone;  and  it  is  but  one  among  the 
thousands  that  have  been  unjustly  used  in  justification  of 
robbing  them  of  their  country  and  wiping  them  out  as  cum- 
berers  of  the  ground,  wrholly  unfit  any  longer  to  inhabit  the 
earth.  • 

Who   ever  heard   of   the   Indians    adulterating  their   food 
with  poisonous  ingredients  to  add  a  dime  more-to  their  gains? 


Who  ever  heard  of  them  adulterating-  their  medicines,  thus 
endangering-  life  to  make  a  nickel  more?  Who  ever  heard  of 
them  banding  tog-ether  to  oppress  the  poor  of  their  own  race 
by  buying- up  certain  articles  of  food  or  medicine  and  hold 
ing  it  to  extort  a  higher  price  from  the  needy,  and  thus  add 
a  few  more  cents  to  their  own  coffers?  And  yet  we  see  fit 
to  falsely  charge  the  Indians  with  deception  and  hypocrisy. 
But  to  misrepresent  in  all  that  is  said  or  written  about'the 
Red  Race  is  an  axiom  of  long  standing.  As  an  illustration^ 
Ridpath,  in  his  ''History  of  the  United  States" — page  45, 

"But  the  Red  Man  was,  at  his  best  estate,  an  unsocial,  sol 
itary  and  gloomy  spirit.     He  was  a  man  of  the  woods.     He 
sat  apart.     Tfre   forest  was  better   than  the  village."     Let 
others  speak  that  it  may  be  known  how  near  the  above    de 
lineation  of  the   Red  Man's  characteristics,  as  exhibited  by 
the  glare  of  imagined  erudition,  throws  its  light  to  the  line 
of  truth  according  to  the  positive  declarations  of  the  -early 
writers  who  visited  the  Indians;  and  the  missionaries  who- 
first  preached  the  Gospel  of  the  world's  Redeemer  to  them. 
All,  everywhere,  and  among  all  Indians  back  to  the  Pilgrims 
oi  1620,  affirm  that  the  tribes  everywhere  lived  in  separate 
districts,  in  which  each  had  numerous  large  and  permanent 
towns  and  villages,  and  were  the  most  social,  contented    and 
happy    people   they   ever   knew.      La     Salle,  the   renowned 
French  explorer,  states  that  he  found  numerous  towns  and 
villages     everywhere.     He  affirms  that  the  Indians  lived  in 
comfortable  cabins  of  great  proportions,  in  some  cases,  forty 
feet  square  with  dome-shaped  roofs,  in  which  several  fami 
lies  lived.     De  Soto,  in  his  memorable  raid  through  the  ter 
ritories  of  the  Southern  Indians  in  1541-42,  found  towns  and 
villages    containing    "from  fifty  to  three   hundred    houses, 
protected  by  palisades,  walls  and  ditches  filled  with  water;" 
it  is  also  stated,  "every  few  miles  he  found  flourishing  towns 
and    villages."     So    also,   the   early   explorers   of   the   head 
waters   of  the   Mississippi   river   found   the   Indians   every 
where  dwelling  in  towns  and  villages:     "The  houses    being- 
framed  wfth  poles  and  covered  with  bark." 

Lewis  and  Clark,  when  exploring  the  waters  of  the  Col 
umbia  River  in  1805, under  the  auspices  of  the  United  Sates 
Government,  found  the  Indians  in  the  valley  of  the  Columbia 
living  in  villages  in  which  there  were  many  large  houses. 
They  mention  some  capable  of  "furnishing  habitations  for 
five  hundred  people."  The  Iroquois,  whose  territories  lay 
along  the  southern  border's  of  the  Great  Lakes,  Erie  and 
Ontario,  when  visited  by  the  Jesuit  priests  and  French 
traders  in  1771,  were  found  dwelling  in  large  towns  and 


,     .   •  ••'  .v.-  .   .•  .  .  ..  , 

'/villages^  some  of  which- are  described  as  having-  "120  houses, 
•  many  of  them  from  50  to ^60  feet  in  length,  and  affording  am 
ple  room  and' shelter  for  twelve  or  fifteen- families."  ,  The 
Indians 'of  the  Atlantic  Stages  were  settled  in  permanent 
towns  and  villages.  The  Pokanokets,  Narragansets,  Pe- 
quods,  and  others,  as  stated  by  early  writers,  lived  in  towns- 
and,  villages.  The  missionaries,  when  they  established 
,Ghirstain  missions  among  the  Cherokees  in  1815,  the  Choc- 
taws  in  1818,  and  Chickasaws  in  1821,  found  them  living  in 
prosperous  towns  and  villages  scattered  from  two  to  six  miles 
apart  all  over  their  then  vast  territories,  and  to  which  I  testify 
from  actual,  personal  knowledge;  and.  no  people  with  whom  I 
was  ever  acquainted,  or  of  whom  I  ever  read,  exhibited  more 
real  social  virtues,  true  contentment  and  genuine  social 
happiness  than  they;  yet  Ridpath's  doleful  and  stereotyped 
edition  of  misrepresentation  and  ignorance  says:  "But  the 
Red  Man  was,  at  his  best  estate,  an  unsocial,  solitary,  and 
gloomy  spirit.  He  communed  only  with  himself  and  the 
genius  of  solitude.  He  sat  apart;  the  forest  was  better  than 
the  village."  •#  . 

The  six  nations,  to  whom  the  French  gave  the  name  Iro- 
quois(Longhouses)  were  composed  of  the  Senecas,  Cayugas, 
Onandagas,  Oneidas,  Mohawks  and  Tuscaroras,  inhabiting 
the  northern  part  of  the  continent,  and  the  Choctaws;  Chick- 
saws,  Cherokees,  Muscogees,  Semiiioles,  Natchez  and  Ya- 
masas,  living  in  the  southern  part  and  known  at  an  early  day 
as  the  Mobela  Nations,  presented,  no  doubt,  the  highest 
type  of  the  North  American  Indians,  and  were  unsurpassed 
in, point  of  native  eloquence,  unalloyed  patriotism,  and  heroic 
bravery,  by  any  ancient  or  modern  race  of  people,  civilized 
or  uncivilized ;  in  friendship  faithful  and  true,  in  war  not 
safe  or  comfortable  to  encounter  ;  and  whose  highest  bliss 
was  found  in  national  independence  and  absolute  personal 
freedom  from  all  restraint  whatever  ;'  and  of  whose  ancient 
history,  if  only  known,  it  might  truthfully  be  said,  would  be 
stranger  and  more  interesting  than  the  "most  thrilling  fic 
tion  ;  abounding  with  hidden  romances  of  which  the  civilized 
•\vorkl  never  conjectured  or  even  dreamed,  if  we  may  judge 
from  the  little  that  has  escaped  oblivion.  The  Iroquois,  and 
the  six  Nations  of  the  North  have  long  since  disappeared  be 
fore  the  White  Race  as  autumnal  leaves  before  the  wintry 
winds,  except  with  here  and  there  a  few  lonely  wanderers 
who,  like  ghosts,  still  hover  around  the  graves  of  their  ances 
tors,  feeblesparksyetlingeringiiitheashesof  an  exterminated 
race.  The  Natchez  and  Yamases  of  the  Mobela  Nations 
have  also  long  since  passed  through  the  same  ordeal,  and 
Ichabod  is  written  upon  their  urns  with  thousands  of  others 


of.  their  unhappy  race  ;  ;while  a  few  still  linger  to  justly  re 
buke  our  cruelty  and  avarice. 

They  know  that  they  only  can  learn  the;  present  through 
the  memory  of  the  blood-stained  past;  that  temple  from 
which  posterity  draws  its  lessons  of.  human  life;  yet  they  are 
not  ashamedxof  their  past;  or  do  they  undervalue  it,  but 
advocate,  as  they  have  many,  long  years  before,  the  great 
brotherhood  of  man;  and  still  hope  and  expect,  as  in  the  years 
of  the  long  past,  great  things  from  Christianity  and  intellect 
ual  culture;. though  oft  have  been  doomed  to  that  ^bitter  dis 
appointment  which  so  loudly  and  justly  rebukes  and  con 
demns  that  prejudice  still  cherished  so  bitterly  but  unjustly 
against  them  by  the  White  Race,  ,and  so  difficult  to  be 
reconciled  to  its  published  professions  of  Christian  attain 
ments,  too  deep  for  them  or  any  other  people,  to  understand 
or  even  : rightly  conjecture.  But  the  question  naturally 
arises,  Why  are  they  still  distrusted  by  us?  Is  it  because 
they  still  honor  their  past  which  they  can  never  renounce  nor 
forget  as  a  brave  and  patriotic  people?  Must  we  forever  hate 
them  and  eternally  make  them  the  subjects  of  our  ridicule 
and  contempt  because,  forsooth,  they  will  not  repudiate  the 
memory  of  their  ancient  line  of  ancestry  to  them  as  honor 
able  as  to  us  is  our  own?  And  though  self  respect  is  all  that 
we  have  left  to  them,  except  a  few  acres  of  begrudged  land, 
do  we  now  demand  and  expect  them  to  so  far  forget  them 
selves  and  to  stoop  so  lowr  in  the  scale  of  humanity  as  to 
adopt  voluntarily,  the  impious  and  degrading  estimate  put 
upon  them  by  the  unprincipled  of  our  own  race,  who  through 
ignorance  and  prejudice  have  misjudged  them?  Then  know 
we  not  the  North  American  Indian;  nor  will  our  demand  or 
expectation  ever  be  realized. 

We  may  exterminate  them  as  we  have  millions  of  their 
race,  for  we  have  the  power  to  do  so  ;  but  we  never  can  co 
erce  them  to  voluntarily  place  a  degrading  estimate  upon 
themselves.  Never.  I  have  heard  the  charge  over  and  over 
again  ^made  against  them,  that  they  would  stop  the  progress 
of  the  white  man's  civilization  and  the  religion  of  Jesus 
Christ  among  them  if  they  could.  Without  fear  or  favor,  Ix 
here  denounce  the  charge  as  a  falsehood,  begat  by  the  devil, 
born  in  the  regions  of  eternal  night,  thence  escaped  to  find 
lodgement  in  the  hearts  of  its  miserably  degraded  author, 
and  his  congenial  spirits,  the  foul  mouthed  promulgators  ; 
and  into  their  teeth  I  fearlessly  hurl  it  back.  But  I  freely 
admit,  if  the  "white  man's  civilization  and  the  white  man's 
Christianity"  is  meant  the  grim  visage  of  infidelity  with  its 
abominable  train  of  liberalism,  socialism,  secularism,  nihi 
lism,  spiritualism,  and  whiskeyism  with  their  legitimate 


children,  saloonism  and  baudy-houseism,  and  all  other  devil 
ish  isms  presented  in  the  white  man's  Christian  civilization 
(so-called),  they  want  none  of  it ;  anp  in  proof  of  which  they 
have  warred,  and  still  war  and  will  ever  continue  to  war 
ag-ainst  the  foul  brood,  be  they  ever  so  protective  to  the 
white  man's  "Personal  Liberty  ;"  or  ever  so  dearly  cher 
ished  by  him,  as  among-  the  brig-htest  lig-hts  along-  the  horizon 
of  his  modern  and  advanced  civilization.  But  let  Christ's 
glorious  Christianity  and  civilization,  as  it  was  presented  to 
them  eighty  years  ago  in  their  ancient  domains  east  of  the 
Mississippi  river  by  the  pure  minded,  devoted,  self-sacrific 
ing1,  God  approved  missionaries,  whose  God-like  teaching's, 
both  by  precept  arid  example,  have  been  handed  down  by 
that  g-eneration  to  this,  (of  whom  many  old  Choctaws  of  that 
day  have  frequently  spoken  to  me  during  my  sojourn  among- 
them,  during-  the  last  five  or  six  years,  and  as  often  drew  the 
contrast  between  the  white  mail's  religion  of  those  days  and 
the  white  man's  religion  of  to-day,  the  g-enuine  fruits  of 
which  are  so  manifest)  be  rudely  assailed  or  imperilled,  and 
every  warrior,  old  and  young-,  would  at  once  rise  as  one  man 
in  its  defense,  and  freely  give  their  lives  as  sacrificial  offer 
ings  upon  the  altar  of  its  protection.  They  had  long-  walked 
in  darkness,  but  they  have  seen  the  light  as  it  shone  in  the 
daily  life,  conversation,  and  actions,  of  those  old  heralds  of 
the'  Cross,  who  came  to  them  in  their  ancient  domains,  four 
score  years  ag-o,  as  messeng-ers  of  the  Son  of  God,  proclaim 
ing- Peace  Good  and  Will  to  them.  But  they  would  see  greater 
lig-ht  and  know  more  of  that  lig-ht ;  therefore,  they  who 
charg-e  them  with  a  hankering  to  still  return  to  the  customs 
of  their  ancestors,  though  in  many  respects  more  to  be  de 
sired  than  the  isms  and  degrading  vices  of  the  white  man's 
modern  civilization  as  presented  to  them,  can  lay  no  just 
claim  to  the  right  of  judging  or  estimating  the  merits,  or 
demerits  of  any  one,  as  they  measure  every  thing  by  the 
standard  of  their  own  imbecility  so  manifest  to  all. 

There  is  today,  and  has  ever  been,  as  much  talent  found 
among-  the  true  Native  Americans  as  among  the  Americans, 
,or  ever  was  found  in  any  race  of  uneducated  people;  and  the 
Indian  is  naturally  as  much  of  a  religious  being  as  the  wh'ite 
man,  yea,  to  a  greater  degree,  which  is  fully  sustained  by  his 
more  faithful  adherence  and  unassumed"  devotion  to  his 
newly  adapted  religion,  as  taught  him  by  the  missionary  of 
the  Gospel,  than  are  we  with  all  of  our  fine  churches  and 
noisy  professions.  The  Sabbath  day  is  reg-arded  with  much 
more  reverence,  and  observed  with  greater  emotions  of  un- 
feig-ned  devotion,  yet  we  call  him  a  savage.  Long-  before  the 
light  of  the  Gospel  illuminated  the  mind  of  the  Indian,  and 


the  knowledge  of  his  own  dignity  and  destiny  had  dawned 
upon^his  understanding,  his  reason  taught  him  a  belief  in  the 
existence  of  a  Superior  Being  whose  wisdom  and  goodness  he 
saw,  acknowledged  and  reverenced  in  every  leaf  and  flower 
that  adorned  the  earth;  in  the  rising  and  setting  of  the  sun; 
in  the  storm  of  night  and  the  calm  of  day.  But  the  mis 
sionary  came,  and  the  Gospel  of  the  Son  of  God  then  erected 
his  alter  among  them  and  shed  the  benign  influences  of  her 
oracles  over  them,  leading  their  understanding  from  the 
intellectual  darkness  of  that  long  starless  night  that  had 
,  brooded  over  them  during  ages  untold.  Great  indeed  must 
be  the  reward  in  heaven  for  those  men  and  women  of  God 
who  carried  the  Bread  of  Eternal  Life  to  the  southern  Indians 
of  this  continent,  over  three  quarters  of  a  century  ago;  when 
civilization  and  Christianity  had  never  before  found  lodge 
ment,  and  Nature  was  presented  in  all  her  seemingly  new 
ness  of  life,  unchanged  by  the  handi-work  of  man.  The 
pride  of  ancestry  may  be  just;  to  rehearse  the  deeds  of  illus 
trious  predecessors  may  by  laudable;  but  they,  who  devote 
life  to  the  Glory  of  God  and  the  benefit  of  the;r  fellow  men 
are  truly  the  ones  that  make  life  illustrious  and  the  grave 
glorious;  for  when  time  had  silvered  their  heads  with  gray, 
and  the  summons  came  that  bade  them  go  hence;  then  it  was 
their  good  deeds  lighted  up  the  gloom  of  the  grave  and 
soothed  and  softened  the  pangs  of  dissolution;  and  when 
they  have  long  slumbered  in  the  citv  of  the  silent,  yea,  when 
every  trace  of  the  unhappy  Indian  shall  have  been  wiped  out 
and  forgotten  in  the  oblivion  of  the  past,  still  will  the  mem 
ory  of  their  labors  of  love  live,  and  their  monuments  be  in 
scribed  with  characters  of  imperishable  fame.  Years  hence, 
when  the  inquisitive  shall  ask  what  manner  of  people  were 
the  fallen  and  exterminated  race  of  North  American  conti 
nent,  and  inquire  concerning  those  who  enlightened  the 
minds  that  only  here  and  there  have  left  a  monument  of  their 
independence,  will  some  venerable  patriarch  point  to  the 
catalogue  of  renowned  names,  who  disseminated  the  Gospel 
and  the  light  of  learning  among  the  primitive  inhabitants  of 
the  North  American  continent.  But  the  question  naturally 
arises  here,  will  the  mighty  tide  of  humanity,  now  flowing 
like  a  great  river  into  and  over  our  country,  bear  to  future 
posterity  our  virtues  or  our  vices,  our  glory  or  our  shame? 
Will  the  moth  of  inmorality  and  the  vampire  of  luxury  trans 
mit,  as  an  inheritance,  their  natural  results  to  our  future 
posterity,  and  ultimately  prove  the  overthrow  of  our  Govern 
ment,  or  shall  our  knowledge  and  virtue,  as  pillars  of  rock, 
support  them  against  the  whirlwind  of  ambition  and  corrup 
tion  now  overspreading  the  land?  The  little  insect  intrud- 


ing"  upon  our  path  is  despised  and  wantonly  crushed;  yet 
united,  they  have  destroyed  nations  and  depopulated  cities. 
"Coming- events"  cease  not  to  "cast  their  shadows  before.'* 
The  North  American  Indians,  in  symmetry  of  form, 
seemed  perfect  men  and  women  ;  all  were  straight  and 
erect ;  the  men,  of  a  proud,  independent  and  manly  bearing-, 
with  sinewy  form  that  denoted  great  strength,  agility  and 
fleetness  ;  with  dark  complexion,  resolute,  yet  quiet  in  ex 
pression,  except  when  ag-itated  by  emotion ;  frank  in  de 
meanor,  and  always  courteous,  never* meeting  you  without  a 
grave  but  polite  and  cheerful  salutation ;  and  whose  confi 
dence  was  not  a  sudden  spark  that  shone  for  a  moment  then 
went  out,  but  endured  through  life  unless  betrayed,  then 
was  never  more  regained,  nor  was  their  hatred  impulsive 
but  fixed  in  their  judgment  and  their  thoughts  rather  than 
in  their  passing  feelings.  And  what  is  said  of  the  charac 
teristics  of  the  men,  as  men,  so  it  may  be  said  equally  of  the 
women,  as  women.  Their  traditions,  which  form  the  con 
necting  link  between  truth  and  romance,  throw  but  a  glim 
mering  light,  as  before  stated,  upon  the  unwritten  history 
of  their  past,  which  has  so  long  been  forgotten,  as  well  as 
upon  their  ancient  habits  and  customs,  of  which  there  can  be 
no  reliable  information,  therefore  all  must  be  left  to  conject 
ure.  But  I  came  in  possession  of  many  traditions  seemingly 
to  founded  more  -in  truth  than  in  fiction,  as  I  oft  sat 
among  the  Choctaws  and  Chickasaws  in  youth  and  early 
manhood  and  listened  with  romantic  emotions  to  the  narra 
tions  of  the  aged,  whose  plurality  of  years  had  consigned 
them  to  the  retired  list  of  warriors,  as  unable  longer  to  en 
dure  the  hardships  and  dangers  that  begirt  the  war-path 
and  the  chase,  and  thus  acquired  much  concerning  their 
past  history,  not  to  be  found  inbooks,  of  which  I  wrill 
more  fully  speak  in  their  proper  place. 

But  alas,  that  the  writings  of  so  many  of  their  White 
historians  (so-called)  seemingly  throug-h  ignorance  or  preju 
dice,  or  both,  should  contain  more  fiction  than  truth,  and  dif 
fuse  more  error  than  true  information  concerning  this  pecu 
liar  and  so  poorly  comprehended  race  of  people  ;  hence  it 
may  be  truly  affirmed  that  there  is  no  race  of  people  that 
now  exists  upon  the  earth,  or  has  ever  existed,  of  whom  -so- 
much  has  'been  said  and  written,  yet  of  whom  the  world  has 
been  taught  less  true  knowledge  and  correct  information 
than  of  the  North  American  Indians.  But  it  should  not  be, 
perhaps,  a  matter  of  very  great  surprise  that  the  majority 
of  the  writers  of  the  present  day,  especially  the  sensational 
newspaper  correspondents,  as  many  of  their  predecessors  of 
years  ago,  should  give  prejudiced  accounts  of  this  people  ; 


since  it  is  plainly  manifest,  when  taken  into  just  considera 
tion,  that  they  are1  utterly  ig-norant  of  the  subject  offered  for 
their  contemplation,  yet  fail  to  see  their  incapacity ,  since 
the  ingredients  are  pure  and  have  given  abundant  and  unmis 
takable  proof  of  their  many-valuable  qualities  ;  therefore,  as  a 
natural  result,  are  lost  to  the  blind  observers  whose  compo 
sitions,  regarding  the  unfortunate  Indians,  are  made  up  of 
equal  parts  (well  mixed)  of  self-conceit,  ignorance,  duplicity 
and  falsehood  ;  which,  in  their  very  nature,  so  utterly  dis 
qualify  them  of  judging-  bevond  the  surface  of  anything  ex 
cept  self  ;  but  seem  extravagantly  delighted  when  they  have 
struck  a  new  vein  of  precious  metal  in  the  mine  of  falsehood 
against  the  unoffending  Indians,  and  foolishly  imagine  it  has 
stamped  them  •with  a  wisdom  higher  than  man's,  though  dif 
ficulties  arise  in  the  minds  of  a  majority  from  a  failure  to  so 
comprehend  it.  Still  it  is  diverting  to  see  them  strut  about 
after  a  safe  delivery,  as  if  they  were  at  the  head  of  a  new 
dispensation  and  waiting  for  unknown  converts  to  kneel  and 
pay  homage  to  their  imagined  greatness. 

It  is  a  universally  admitted  that  the  color  of  the  Indians 
is  peculiar  to  themselves,  and  though  some  affirm  that  they 
have  discovered  indications  of  a  Tartar  origin  in  their  cheek 
bones,  others  assert  that  their  eyes  do  not  justify  the  affir 
mation.  Their  manner  of  life  may  have  exerted",  perhaps, 
some  influence  in  regard  to  color,  but  it  would  be  a  difficult 
matter  to  satisfactorily  -explain  how  it  coult  have  produced 
the  great  difference  that  is  so  plainly  manifest  in 
that  of  the  eyes.  Still  it  is  affirmed  that  "'their  imagery,, 
bpth.  poetry  and  oratory,  is  Oriental,  though  suffering  by  the 
limited  extend  of  th-ear  practical  knowledge."  Their 
metaphors  were  drawn  from  nature,  the  seasons,  the  clouds, 
the  storms,  the  mountains,  birds  and  beast,  and  the  vegetables 
world.  Yet  in  this,  they  only  did  what  all  other  races  of  the 
human  family  have  done,  whose  bounds  to  fancy  were 
governed  by  experience.  They  also  clothed  their  ideas  in. 
Oriental  dress.  They  expressed  a  phrase  in  a  word,  and 
qualified  the  signification  of  a  whole  sentence  by  a  syllable;: 
and  also  conveyed  different  significations  by  the  simplest 
inflections  of  the  voice.  Some  philologists  affirm  that  among 
all  the  North  American  Indians  who  once  inhabited  this  con- 
tinent,^  ''there  are,  properly  speaking,  but  two  or  three 
languages,"  and  the  difficulty  which  different  tribes  ex 
perience  in  understanding  each  other,  is  attributed  to  the 
corruptions  in  dialects.  This  may  seem  more  plausible 
from  the  following  incident.  Shortly  after  the  Choctaws 
.were  removed  from  their  ancient  domains  east  of  the  Mis- 
sissippi  River  to  their  present  places  of  abode,  a  small  tribe 


of  strange  Indians  was  discovered  occupying-  a  portion  of 
their  western  territory,  now  the  Chickasaw  Nation.  A  party 
of  Choctaws,  under  the  command  of  Peter  P.  Pitchlynn, 
was  sent  out  to  ascertain  who  they  were .  When  the  dele 
gation  arrived  at  one  of  the  villages  of  the  unknown  tribe, 
they  were  totally  unable  to  communicate  with  them  only 
through  the  sign  language,  so  well  understood  by  all  the 
Indians,  and  them  alone.  However,  it  was  soon  observed 
that  the  villagers,  in  conversation  with  each  other,  used  a 
few  words  that  were  decidedly  of  Choctaw  origin,  and  now 
and  then  one  or  more  purely  Chactaw  words.  This  but  in 
creased  the  interest  of  the  now  deeply  interested  delegates. 
Upon  further  investigation  by  means  of  the  sign-language, 
It-was  ascertained  that  the  name  of  the  little  tribe  of  stran 
gers  wasBaluhchi,  a  pure  Choctaw  word,  signifying  hickory- 
bark  (formerly  used  by  the  Choctaws  in  making  ropes  and 
whips  when  peeled  from  the  hickory  bush  in  the  spring).  It 
was  also  learned  that  they  originally  came  from  a  country,  to 
their  pleasant  place  of  abode,  that  lay  beyond  the  "Big 
Waters,"  and  this  was  all  that  could  be  learned  concerning 
them.  Being  anxious  to  ascertain  something  more  definite, 
the  delegates,  upon  further  inquiry,  learned  that  there  lived 
in  another  village  a  few  miles  distant,  an  aged  man  who  was 
formerly  their  chief  but  owing  to  his  advanced  age  he  no 
longer  acted  in  that  capacity,  but  was  regarded  by  the  tribe 
as  their  national  Seer  or  Prophet.  To  him  the  delegation 
immediately  went,  and  found  to  their  agreeable  surprise  that 
tlie  venerable  old  patriarch,  for  such  he  truly  was,  could  speak 
the  Choctaw  language  fluently.  He  corroborated  the  state 
ment  of  the  villagers  in  regard  to  the  migration,  and  also 
claimed  that  he  and  his  tribe  were  Choctaws.  When  asked, 
How  long  since  he  left  his  people  east  of  the  "Big  Waters," 
he  replied:  "Long  ago,  when  a  little  boy,"  and  further 
stated  that  he  was  the  only  survivor  of  the  little  company 
that  had  wandered  away  years  ago  from  the  parent  stock. 
JBut  to  fully  test  the  matter,  he  was  questioned  as  to  the 
name  of  the  Choctaw  Iksas  (Clans)  and  their  ruling  chiefs  at 
the  time  of  his  boyhood  and  the  departure  of  the  company  to 
£he  far  west.  He  readily  gave  the  name  of  several  clans  and 
^heir  then  ruling  chiefs,  together  with  the  names  of  the  clan 
(Baluhchi)  to  which  his  parents  belonged;  also  many  memor 
able  incidents  connected  with  the  Choctaws  in  his  boyhood 
together  with  the  general  features  and  outlines  of  their 
territory.  All  of  which  was  known  to  be  true.  'The  test 
was  satisfactory.  The  delegates  returned;  made  their  re 
port,  and  the  Choctaw  Nation  at  once  received  its  long  wan 
dering  prodigals  into  its  paternal  embrace,  and  without 


hesitation  took  them  into  full  fellowship  as  children  of  one 
and  the  same  family.  About  fifty  families  of  this  once  lost 
clan,  numbering-  about  two  hundred  souls  still  survive,  with 
a  few  of  whom  I  am  personally  acquainted.  The  little  band, 
I  was  informed,  still  adheres  to  the  ancient  customs  of  their 
Clan  with  that  tenacity  peculiar  to  the  North  American 
Indians  alone,  but  has  returned  to  the  use  of  the  Choctaw 
language  proper. 

Here  then,  in  this  little  band  of  strayed  Choctaws,  who 
had  wandered  from  the  parent  stock  scarcely  a  century  be 
fore,  is  found  a  case  in  which  their  language  had  become  so 
blended  or  mixed  with  that  of  the  languages  of  other  adjoin 
ing  tribes,  and  thereby  so  corrupted  and  changed  as  not  to 
be  understood  by  their  own  people  from  whom  they  had 
wandered  but  a  generation  or  two  before.  The  ancient 
Baluhchi  Clan  of  Choctaws  was  first  made  known  to  the 
whites  by  La  Salle,  who  visited  them  on  his  voyage  of  dis 
covery  down  the  Mississippi  River  in  1682,  and  to  which  I 
will  again  refer. 

Fenimore  Cooper,  in  reference  to  the  sign-language  of 
the  North  American  Indians,  says,  he  was  present  at  an  in 
terview  between  two  chiefs  of  the  western  plains,  and  when 
an  interpreter  was  present  who  spoke  both  languages  of 
the  two  different  tribes  to  which  the  two  chiefs  respectively 
belonged.  The  two  warrior  chiefs  appeared  to  be  on  the 
most  friendly  terms,  and  apparently  conversed  much  togeth 
er;  yet,  according  to  the  affirmation  of  the  interpreter,  each 
was  absolutely  ignorant  of  what  the  other  said  .in  his  native 
tongue.  Their  tribes  were  hostile  to  each  other,  but  these 
two  chiefs  had  accidentally  been  brought  together  by  the  in-' 
fluence  of  the  Government ;  and  it  is  worthy  of  remark  that 
a  common  policy  influenced  them  both  to  adopt  the  same 
subject.  They  mutually  exhorted  each  other  to  befriend 
the  one  the  other  in  the  event  that  the  chance  of  war  should 
throw  either  of  them  in  the  hands  of  his  enemies. 

But  whatever  may  be  the  truth  as  respects  the  root  and 
the  genius  of  the  Indian  tongue,  it  is  quite  evident  they  are 
now  so  remote  in  their  words  as  to  possess  most  of  the  dis 
advantages  of  strange  languages  ;  hence,  much  of  the  em 
barrassment  that  has  arisen  in  learning  their  history,  and 
most  of  the  uncertainty  which  exists  in  their  traditions. 

The  North  American  Indians  conform  to  rule  as  rigidly 
as  any  nation  of  people  that  ever  existed.  They  regulated 
their  whole  conduct  in  conformity  to  some  general  maxims 
implanted  in  their  minds  in  their  youthful  days.  The  moral 
laws  by  which  they  were  governed  were  few,  'tis  true. 
Butthey  conformed  toall  of  them  most  rigidly  ;  while  our  moral 


laws  are  many  by  which  we  assume  to  be  governed,  yet  we 
frequently  violate  them  with  little  compunction  of  conscience 
when  conflicting'  with  our  real  or  imaginary  interests.  We 
accuse  the  Indians  of  stoicism  and  habitual  taciturnity,  with 
out  studying-  their  characteristics;  but  if  we  had 
'only  informed  ourselves,  we  would  have  learned  that  they 
are  more  firmly  linked  to  us  by  mutual  sympathies  and  affec 
tions  than  we  have  ever  even  imagined.  But  why  do  the  In 
dians  appear  taciturn  and  unsocial  to  us  ?  Because  we 
have,  from  first  to  last,  manifested  toward  them  an  uncon 
cealed  coldness,  indifference,  distrustfulness  bordering 
largly  on  contempt ;  and  never  with  that  confidence,  frank 
ness  and  sincerity  which  are  so  indispensable  to  g-enuine  love 
and  true  friendship.  Let  a  little  group  of  Indians  be  at  a 
railroad  station  on  the  arrival  of  'a  passenger  train.  See  the 
rush  to  the  platform  and  the  circle  formed  around  them  ; 
hear  the  remarks  of  attempted  wit  made  about  them  and  the 
laug-h  of  ridicule,  as  they  stare  at  them  as  if  they  were  a 
group  of  wild  beasts,  yet  assuming  themselves  to  be  a  people 
remarkable  for  their  strict  adherence  to  the  rules  and  regu 
lations  of  politeness  !  What  feelings  must  pervade  the  In 
dians'  breasts  but  emotions  .of  manifold  pity  and  mingled 
contempt  for  such  an  ill-mannered  set,  who  profess  so  much 
yet  display  so  little  of  common  sense  !  Who,  with  any  de 
gree  of  justice,  can  blame  the  Indians  for  manifesting  their 
wisdom  and  good  sense  by  keeping  themselves  aloof  from 
the  company  of  the  self-conceited  and  scornful,  whose  moral 
worth  and .  highest  attainments  begin  and  end  seemingly 
with  the  nronkey  ?  and,  as  a  natural  consequence,  can  exhibit 
no  other  disposition  when  in  the  presence  of  one  or  more  In 
dians  than  that  of  gratifying  an  ignorant  curiosity  in  behold 
ing  the  so-called  "red  devils,  red  skin,  Indian  bucks,"  appel 
lations  having  their  origin  in  the  depraved  hearts  of  as  cor 
rupt  and  reckless  specimens  of  humanity  as  ever  cursed  a 
land  or  county,  and  are  a  foul  blot  upon  the  fair  face  of  na 
ture,  and  the  language  of  whose  hearts  is  "justice,  truth, 
honor,  mercy,  humanity  depart  from  us,  we  desire  not  the 
knowledge  of  thy  ways."  Thus,  in  all  our  intercourse  with 
this  unfortunate  race  of  people,  we  have  exhibited,  in  the 
majority  of  instances,  every  disposition  toward  them  that 
was  calculated  to  drive  them  far  from  even  the  sight  of  us, 
and  to  stamp  indelibly  upon  their  hearts  the  belief  that  our 
only  desire  is,  and  ever  has  been,  to  dispossess  them. of  their 
hereditary  possessions  ;  and  in  which  they  are  wholly  con 
firmed  by  reading  our  publications  in  which  we  portray  them 
as  "red  devils,  red  skins,  blood-thirsty  savages,  Indian 
bucks,"  thus  seemingly  to  attempt  to  justify  ourselves,  by 


our  calumniating- epithets,  in  our  cruelties  and  outrages  upon 
them  without  any  respect  to  their  claims  upon  truth,  justice, 
mercy  and  humanity  whatever ;  and  also,  that  they  have  no 
rights  when  conflicting1  with  ours,  but  must  succumb  any 
where  and  everywhere  to  the  nod  of  our  interest  be  it  at 
their  sacrifice  what  it  may  ;  therefore  we  continue,  as  we 
have  done  for  centuries  past,  to  execute  our  verdict  pro 
nounced  against  them  from  the  beginning:  "It  is  easier  and 
less  expensive  to  exterminate  the  Indians,  than  to  obey  the 
mandates  of  the  Son  of  God  in  attempting  to  Christianize 
them."  Said  an  old  chief:  "We've  been  driven  back  until 
we  can  retreat  no  farther  ;  our  tomahawks  have  none  to  wield 
them  ;  our  bows  have  none  to  shoot  them  ;  our  council  fires 
are  nearly  burned  out ;  soon  the  white  man  will  cease  tooppress 
and  persecute  us,  for  we  will  have  perished  and  gone  from 
the  earth."  Thus  have  their  expectations  ..darkened  into 
anxiety,  their  anxiety  into  dread,  their  dread  into  despair 
and  their  despair  into  death. 

„  Never  in  the  history  of  man  has  the  extermination  of  a 
people  been  more  complete  than  that  of  the  North  American 
Indians  within  the  last  two  and  a  half  centuries.  To  the 
query,  "Where  are  they"?  Echo  but  responds,  "Where"? 
Alas!  all  have  disappeared  from  their  ancient  abodes,  and 
hundreds  .of  tribes  have  long  since  ceased  to  exist  as 
nations,  the  majority  not  even  leaving  a  name  behind  them; 
and  even  the  former  homes  ^of  the  hapless  remaining  few 
refuse  to  acknowledge  the  feeble  exiles  but  as  vile  intruders, 
while  the  names  of  mountains,  hills  and  streams  are  all  that 
remain  as  testimonials  of  their  former  occupancy,  even  as 
solitary  heaps  of  drift-wood  left  far  from  the  channel  of  the 
river  bear  testimony  to  the  extent  of  its  inundation.  And  to 
the  query,  Where  are  they?  The  best  reply  may  be  found 
in  a  book  bearing  the  title  "Shank's  Report  On  Indian 
Frauds,"  made  March  3d,  1873,  -to  the  420  Congress,  3d,- 
Session,.  in  the  management  of  Indian  Affairs.  It  is  as 
follows:  "In  250  years  we  have  wasted  their  numbers  from 
2,500,000"  (nearer  the  truth  would  be,  20,500,000)  "down  to 
250,000  or  a  waste  of.  a  number  equals  to  all  their  children 
born  to  them  in  the  last  250  years,  and  2,  250,000,  or  9-10  of 
their  original  number,  residing  in  the  limits  of  our  Govern 
ment,  and  have  taken  absolute  ownership  of  3,232,936,351 
acres  of  their  lands,  prairies,  forests,  game  and  homes, 
leaving,  to  all  their  tribes  collectively,  only  97,745,000  acres 
of  ground,  generally  not  the  best,  and .  even  that  is  sought 
after  with  a  greed  that  is  not  worthy  .  a  Christian  people." 
Nevertheless  we  boast  of  ourselves  .being  a  true  .  Christian 
nation  of  the  "Anglo  Saxon"  blood.  Who  can  but  pity  the 


unfortunate  Cubans  and  the  Filipinos!  With  what  emotions 
of  horror  must  they  shrink  from  their  prospective  future, 
when  contemplating-  the  extermination  of  the  North  Ameri 
can  Indians. 

Even  at  an  early  day  the  Indians  themselves,  believed,  felt 
andacknowledg-ed  it.  In  1611,  all  the  Indians,  then  known  to 
the  whites,  complained,  according  to  the  statements  of  the 
early  writers,  that  from  the  time  the  French  came  to  trade 
with  them  they  began  to  decline  and  die  off  more  rapidly 
than  ever  before.  It  is  stated  by  the  early  explorers,  that 
they  would  often  fumig-ate  their  heads  to  avoid  infection 
from  the  magic  charms  they  believed  the  French  carried 
about  their  persons,  secret  poison,  harmless  to  themselves, 
but  fatal  to  all  Indians  ;  at  other  times  they  would  accuse 
the  whites  of  selling  them  poisonous  provisions.  "In  1634," 
writesk  the  French  journalist,  "the  orphans  were  sadly  nu 
merous,  for  after  the  Indians  began  to  use  whiskey  they 
died  in  great  numbers."  "Not  so,"  said  a  chief  in  1636,  "It 
is  not  your  drink  which  kills  us,  but  your  writings ;  fo,r 
since  you  have  described  our  country,  our  rivers,  land  and 
forests,  we  are  all  dying-.  This  was  not  so  before  your  com 
ing."  Unhappy  chief!  Thou  wert  honest  in  thy  convic 
tions,  but  erring;  in  your  judgment.  Whiskey  was  the  se 
cret  power  employed  by  the  pale-face  to  silently  but  effectu 
ally  destroy  thy  race,  as  it  has  been  from  that 'day  to  this  ; 
and,  as  auxiliaries  to  that  terrible  destructive,  the  introduc 
tion  of  small-pox,  scarlet  fever,  measles,  mumps,  whooping- 
cough,  unknown  before  to  the  Indians,  did  their  fatal  work, 
and  hurried  millions  of  that  unfortunate  people  to  premature 
graves,  often  depopulating  entire  towns  and  villages,  and 
even  tribes.  These  new  and  unaccountable  diseases  ap 
pearing-  among  them  with  the  coming  of  the  whites,  baffling" 
their  utmost  powers  in  the  healing  art,  and  which  it  ap 
peared  no  skill  could  obviate,  nor  remedy  dispel  the  fearful 
infection,  they  very  naturally  attributed  the  cause  of  them 
to  the  writings  of  the  Pale-face,  so  mysterious  and  incom 
prehensible  to  them.  While  some  tribes  attributed  their 
mysterious  dying-  to  the  anger  of  the  Great  Spirit,  who  thus 
punished  them  for  permitting  the  Pale-faces  to  "describe 
their  country,  lands,  rivers  and  forests." 

A  Huron  convert  told  the  Jesuit  priests  in  1639,  that  it 
was  almost  the  universal  opinion  of  his  nation,  that  all  the 
professed  friendship  of  the  whites  for  the  Indians  was  but 
a  blind  to  conceal  their  deep  hidden  hypocrisy  and  treachery; 
and  that  they  were  really  aiming  to  the  total  destruction  of 
the  Indians,  in  order  to  secure  their  country  for  themselves. 
How  truly  prophetic,  and  how  much  more  of  truth  than 

HISTORY    OF    THE   INDIANS.      •  55 

fiction  were  their  rational  conclusions,  and  was  there  not 
manifested  also,  in  their  just  reasonings,  in  regard  to  the 
secret  designs  of  the  whites,  as  far-sighted  statemanship  as 
was  ever  exhibited  by  any  nation  of  people  that  ever  existed, 
ancient  or  modern?  Were  the  phillippics  hurled  against  the 
ambitious  Macedonian  king  and  conqueror  by  the  world 
wide  renowned  statesman  and  orator  of  ancient  Athens  more 
prophetic  than  were  the  predictions  of  those  ancient  Hurons 
of  North  America?  "You  will  see,"  said  a  relative  of  the 
above  mentioned  Huron 'convert,  to  whom  he  spoke  of  the 
kind  words  and  friendly  actions  of  the  Jesuit  priests  towards 
the  Indians,  ''your  children  die  before  your  eyes;  you  your 
self  will  soon  follow,  and  if  we  listen  to  them,  we  all  will  go 
the  same  way."  "Whether  it  is  the  work  of  the  devil  or  the 
providence  of  God,"  adds  the  annalist,  "we  dare  not  say,  but 
of  five  children  in  the  family,  but  one  remains.  Soon  after 
that  speech,  one  was  carried  off  by  fever;  another  has  been 
ill  for  months  and  cannot  live;  the  oldest,  who  was  one  of  our 
pupils,  a  lad  of  fourteen,  died  very  suddenly;  an  adopted 
daughter  has  a  dangerous  cough;  the  youngest  boy  is  dying 
too,  while  the  Lord  has  seen  fit  to  afflict  the  wife  also,  who, 
after  losing  four  children,  herself  died  of  small-pox.  Truly 
the  poor  Indian  may  say  Probasti  me  et  cognovisti  me."  In 
1657,  Father  Menard  himself,  while  laboring  among  the  Iro- 
quois,  wrote  as  follows:  "The  hostility  to  our  faith  and  to  our 
persons  which  the  Hurons  had  transmitted  to  those  abori 
gines,  persuading  them  that  we  carried  with  us  disease  and 
misfortune  to  every  country  we  approached,  caused  our  re 
ception  to  be  cool  and  the  presents  to  be  spurned  which  we 
offered  as  a  help  to  the  introduction  of  our  religion." 

Could  the  Indians  be  justly  censured,  with  such  potent 
convictions  resting  upon  their  minds,  that  many,  in  wild  de 
spair  and  in  blind  revenge,  if,  peradventure,  they  might  be 
able  to  turn  back  the  fearful  and  destructive  tide  of;  disease 
and  death  that  was  so  effectually  and  rapidly  destroying 
them,  by  driving  from  their  territories  the  pale-faces — 
seemingly  the  author  of  all  their  misfortunes  and  woes?  and 
did  not  their  hopes  of  success,  their  devotion  to  and  love  of 
country,  and  their  irresistible  idealism  which  stimulates  the 
mighty  effort,  constitute  the  essence  of  true  patriot 
ism?  But  alas,  our  prejudice  denies  it  to  them. 
Wherefore  ?  Because  we,  as  a  people,  were  blinded 
by  our  imagined  superiority  over  them,  and  pre-con- 
ceived  determination  to  convert  their  country  to  our  own  use 
— every  foot  of  it — as  is  so  manifest  to-day  ;  therefore  refused 
to  become  properly  acquainted  with  them  lest  we  might  see 
and  learn  of  their  many  characteristic  virtues.  Their  coun- 


try  was  the  philosopher's  stone  to  us — the  true  secret  that 
influenced  our  actions  toward,  and  all  our  dealing's  with 
them,  both  of  a  peaceful  and  host'le  nature.  It  was  the 
sceptre  that  was  to  give  us  dominion  over  them,  to  their  de 
struction,  but  our  aggrandizement ;  the  key  that  would  un 
lock  to  us  a  store-house  of  national  power  and  personal 
emolument,  opening  unto  us  the  untold  treasures  of  the 
western  continent.  Therefore,  whatever  in  them  appeared 
strange  and  forbidding  to  our  disordered  imagination  ;  what 
ever  did  not  agree  in  every  punctilio  to  our  self-conceited, 
"high-born,"  civilized  customs,  we  at  once  misjudged  and 
underrated,  haughtily  condemned  and  pushed  aside  as  un 
worthy  our  refined  attention.  Hence  it  is  a  lamentable 
truth,  that  all  the  impressions  ever  made  by  the  whites  upon 
the  Indians,  with  few  exceptions,  from  their  earliest  associa 
tions  to  the  present  day,  have  been  contrary  to  every  thing  that 
had  a  tendency  to  secure  their  confidence,  maintain  their  friend 
ship,  and  induce  them  to  forsake  their  primitive  customs 
and  adopt  those  of  ours  ;  and  we  have  to-day  the  evidence 
on  every  side  that  the  evil  influences  placed  before  the  In 
dians,  and  the  baneful  impressions  made  upon  their  minds 
by  unprincipled  and  lawless  white  men,  who  have  always  in 
fested  their  country,  from  the  beginning,  have  been  deeply 
and  lastingly  made,  and  have  long  ago  assumed  the  form  of  a 
justly  bitter  but  silent  hatred  enduring  as  time,  and,  it  is  to 
be  feared,  forever  to  rankle  in  their  breasts.  This  prejudice 
against  and  hatred  of  all  that  appertains  to  the  white  race 
has  been  widening  and  deepening  from  their  first  acquain 
tance  with  the  whites,  from  whom  they  have  received  noth 
ing  but  sneers,  cuffs  and  kicks  from  the  alpha  to  the  omega, 
and  now  stands  a  yawning  gulf  between  the  confidence  and 
friendship  of  the  red  man  and  the  white,  so  broad  and  deep 
that  all  hope -of  its  being  bridged  seems  nearly  if  not  entirely 
at  an  end.  As  the  great  and  good /Washington  exclaimed., 
when  informed  of  the  treason  of  Benedict  Arnold,  "Whom 
can  we  trust?"  so  the  Indians,  long  ago,  have  been  entirely 
justifiable  to  exclaim  of  the  white  race  "Whom  can  -we 
trust.?"  Memory  is,  and  always  has  been-,  the  Indian's  only 
record-book,  their  history  of '  past  events;  and  upon  its 
pages,  handed  down  through  ages  from  generation  to  gener 
ation,  are  truthfully,  faithfully  and  lastingly  recorded  in  the 
archives  of  their  respective  nations,  and  the  vicissitudes  of 
their  individual  lives.  Its  instructions  they  never  forget,  be 
they  of  joy  or  sorrow,  hope  or  fear,  rights  or  wrongs,  bene 
fits  or  injuries  ;  and.  to-day,  could  the  heart  of  every  Indian, 
whose  blood  is  not  contaminated  with  that  of  the  white,  male 
or  female,  old  or  young,  now  living  within  the  jurisdiction  of 


these  United  States'  as  their  miserable  and  down-trodden 
wards,  be  read  as  an  open  scroll-,  I  venture  the  assertion  as 
being*  within  the  line  of  truth,  though  broad  and  inconsistent 
as  it  may  seem,  there  would  be  found  written,  and  with  just 
cause  approved  and  sustained'  by  truth,  against  the  white 
race,  with  pen  dipped  in  the  stream  of  as  bitter  hatred  as 
ever  flowed  through  the  human  soul,  "Tekel."  They  would 
be  superhuman  if  otherwise.  But  upon  whom  justly  rests 
the  cause  of  all  this?  At  whose  door  lies  the  fearful  wrong? 
Who  has  been  the  first  and  last  cause  ?  The  voice  of  truth, 
as  potent  as  that  which  fell  upon  the  ears  of  Israel's  guilty 
king,  sustained  CLOW  as  then  by  the  God  of  justice  and  truth, 
comes  also  to  the  white  man,  and  declares  in  thunder  tones, 
"Thou  art  the  man." 

The  era  (1492)  in  which  Columbus  discovered  the 
western  continent  was  unprecedented  in  the  history  of  the 
world,  awakening  the  long  slumbering  ambition  of  man-kind 
to  an  energy  unknown  before,  and  giving  origin  to  number 
less  speculative  enterprises,  which  resulted  in  a  fierce  strug 
gle  among  the  different  nations  of  the  Old  World  to  secure  a 
permanent  foot-hold  in  the  New,  which  offered  such  bright 
prospects  for  national  power  and  glory  and  individual  wealth, 
and  soon  the  representatives  of  the  different  maritime 
powers  were  seen  upon  the  wide  and  seemingly  illimitable 
field  disputing,  quarrelling  and  fighting  for  supremacy  upon 
the  soil  of  the  Native  American,  and  adopting  every  art  and 
device  that  ingenuitv  could  suggest,  right  or  wrong,  so  it  did 
prove  but  successful  in  preventing  the  opposite  from  attain 
ing  its  desired  end,  or  displacing  the  fortunate  one  who  had 
secured  a  coveted  prize.  Among  the  most  'conspicuous 
contestants  were  the  representatives  of  Spain,  France,  Eng 
land  and  Holland;  who  sent  out  corporations  for  colonizing 
purposes,  establishing  them  at  different  points  according  to 
the  inclinations  of  each,  extending  from  the  Great v 
Lakes  of  the  North  to  the  Gulf  in  the  South; 
each  assuming  the  right  based  upon  that  of  discovery 
and  occupancy  to  possess,  hold,  occupy  and  retain 
any  territory  desired;  but  in  reality,  more  by  virtue  of 
professed  intellectual  superiority  over  the  Native  Americans 
and  the  actual  advantages  in  the  munitions  of  war,  than  that 
of  .any  right  accrued  by  virtue  of  discovery;  influencing  the 
inexperienced  and  unlettered  natives  by  cajolery  and  decep 
tion,  and  oft  by  compulsion,  to  dispose  of  their  lands  to  them 
at  nominal  prices,  a  mere  pittance  under  the  name  of  ''pur 
chase,"  without  any  regard  whatever  to  the  claims  of  truth, 
justice  and  honor,  or  to  the  validity  of  the  Indians'  title  by 
previous  occupancy  for  ages  unknown.  But  after  many 


\    ' 

years  of  disputation,  wrangling-  and  fighting-,  the  greatest 
arena  of  contending  disputants  was  cleared  of  all  but  two, 
the  French  and  English,  to  whom  was  left  the  task  of  closing 
the  bloody  drama;  but  into  which  the  two  hostile  and  con 
tending  rivals  continued  to  involve  (as  had  been  done  from 
the  beginning  of  their  feuds)  the  bewildered  India'ns  in  their 
battles  with  each  other,  and  also  arraying  them  in  deadly 
strife  and  prolonged  war-fare  among  themselves,  tribe 
against  tribe,  that  they  might  thus  weaken  their  numerical 
strength,  and  thus  the  quicker  and  the  more  easily  drive 
them  from  their  ancient  possessions;  a  scheme  artfully 
adopted  by  us,  after  the  dispossession  of  the  §higlish,  in  turn, 
in  1776  and  the  handing  over  of  the  Indians  to  us,  to  complete 
the  destruction  of  that  unfortunate  race. 

But  truly  has  it  been  said,  "The  Father  of  Waters"  has 
two  epochs,  and  each  with  a  romance,  the  one  as  different 
from  the  other  as  day  and  night.  The  first  belongs  to  the 
northern  Mississippi,  and  the  second  to  the  southern  ;  the 
former  has  its  pastor,  Father  Marquette  ;  the  latter  its  nov 
elty,  Hernahdo  de  Soto.  France  and  England,  long  the  am 
bitious  rivals  and  zealous  competitors  for  territorial  acquisi 
tions  throughout  the  inhabited  globe,  were  the  first  and  only 
nations  that  disputed  and  contended  for  the  entire  posses 
sion  of  the  North  American  continent  at  that  early  day  ;  re 
garding  which  it  has  also  been  said  that  religious  enthusiasm 
planted  the  Puritan  colony  on  Plymouth  Rock  ;  religious  en 
thusiasm  planted  the  Cross  on  the  shores  of  the  St.  Law 
rence,  among  the  Indians  around  Lake  Superior,  thence  to 
the  Great  Valley  of  the  Mississippi.  Thus  France  and  her 
Christianity  stood  in  Canada  and  the  Mississippi  valley;  En 
gland  and  her  Christianity  stood  on  the  hills  of  the  Hudson 
and  in  the  Susquehanna  valley,  and  invited  the  Indians  each 
to  their  respective  civilization  and  Christianity,  while  bloody 
conflicts  and  cruel  scenes  marked  the  footsteps  of  the  intro 
duction  of  the  new  order  of  things  among  the  confused  In- 

In  1608,  Quebec  was  founded  by  the  intrepid  explorer, 
Samuel  Champlain,  and  whose  name  is  perpetuated  in  that  of 
Lake  Champlain.  From  Quebec  the  French  Jesuits  pene 
trated  and  explored  the  vast  solitudes  of  the  Canadian 
wilderness  to  the  Great  Lakes  of  the  West,  then  a  terra 
incognita,  to  the  civilized  world.  Following  in  their  wake 
came  the  English  in  their  representatives,  known  as  the 
Pilgrims  landing  on  the  rock-bound  coast  of  Massachusetts 
in  1620/where  the  foot  of  the  white  man  had  never  trod, 
though  the  adventurous  and  indefatigable  La  Salle  had  ex 
plored  the  Ohio  River  as  far  down  as  the  present  city  of 


Louisville,  Ky.,  many  years  before,  while  other  French 
adventurers  and  also  Jesuit  missionaries  had  penetrated  the 
wild  regions  around  the  Great  Lakes,  thence  southward 
along-  the  various  tributaries  of  the  Mississippi  which  drained 
the  vast  and  wild  region  between  them  and  the  Gulf  of 
Mexico  far  to  the  south;  there  they  planted  the  Cross  in 
those  seemingly  illimitable  forests,  whose  solitudes  never  be 
fore  had  been  broken  by  the  voice  of  anthems  sang-  in  praise 
to  the  one  and  only  true  God,  and  there  left  behind  them 
many  monuments  scattered  here  and  there,  as  memorials  of 
their  adventurous  and  perilous  travels,  which,  in  after  years, 
wrould  remind  the  passer-by  of  the  names  of  La  Salle, 
Allouez,  Marquette,  Joliet,  Meynard,  and  other  kindred 
spirits,  whose  energy  and  untiring-  efforts  to  convert  to 
their  religious  creed  the  various  tribes  of  the  Native  Ameri 
cans,  and  to  successfully  and  permanently  secure  all  their 
territories  for  the  French,  has  no  parallel  in  the  annals  of 
the  world's  history.  Quebec  soon  became  the  great  and 
frequented  mart  of  trade  between  the  French  and  the 
Indians,  to  which  the  various  tribes  came  from  far  and  near 
in  their  canoes  laden  with  the  skins  and  furs  of  the 
various  wild  animals  that  roamed  in  countless  numbers 
over  the  vast  forests  of  those  primitive  days,  to 
see  the  pale-face  strangers,  and  to  exchange  their  furs 
and  skins  for  the  new  and  strange  articles  that  seemed 
so  greatly  to  excel  their  own  comforts  of  life,  and  especially 
the  white  man's  wonderful  gun,  which  they  had  quickly 
learned  far  surpassed  their  bows  and  Arrows  in  killing  game 
and  in  destroying  their  enemies. 

In  1679,  James  Marquette,  a  French  Jesuit,  and  Louis 
Joliet,  a  French  Canadian  merchant,  entered  the  Mississippi 
river  by  way  of  the  Wisconsin  in  two  birch-bark  canoes; 
thence  down  the  Mississippi  to  a  point  below  the  mouth  of 
the  Arkansas.  In  1682,  Robert  de  Lasalle,  a  French  Cana 
dian  officer,  entered  the  Mississippi  from  the  Illinois  river, 
thence  up  to  its  source,  thence  down  to  its  mouth,  and  gave 
the  name  Louisiana  to  that  vast  territory  in  honor  of  Louis 
XIV,  king  of  France.  In  1683,  Kaskaskia,  in  the  no'w  state 
of  Illinois,  was  founded  by  the  French ;  in  1701, 
Detroit,  in  Michigan ;  in  1705,  Vincennes,  in  Indi 
ana.  In  1699,  the  French,  under  the  command  of  Le- 
moyne  de  Iberville,  also  a  French  Canadian,  founded  Biloxi, 
in  Mississippi,  which  was  named  after  a  clan  of  the  ancient 
Choctaws  called  Bulohchi  (Hickory  Bar),  of  whom  I  have  al 
ready  spoken.  New  Orleans  was  founded  by  the  French 
under  Bienville,  in  1718.  Fort  Rosalie  among  the  Natchez 
Indians,  which  was  destroyed  by  them  in  1729,  who  had  be- 


come  exasperated  by  the  oppressions  of  the  French,  of  whom 
I  will  again  more  pa,  >ularly  speak.  In  1722,  Bienville  also 
founded  Mobile,  in  Alabama.  A  chain  of  forts  was  then 
built  by  the  French  between  Montreal  and  New  Orleans  ; 
the  most  important  of  which  were,  the  one  at  Detroit,  erect 
ed  in  1701  ;  the  one  at  Niagara,  1726  ;  and  one  at  Crown 
Point,  in  1730.  However,  De  Monts,  a  French  Huguenot, 
established  the  first  permanent  French  settlement  upon  the 
continent,  at  Port  Royal  (now  Annapolis)  in  Nova  Scotia,  call 
ing  the  territory  Acadia. 

February  10th,  1763,  witnessed  the  total  subversion  of 
French  power  in  North  America  by  the  English,  at  which 
time  peace  was  made  between  the  belligerents,  England, 
France  and  Spain,  by  which  the  North  American  continent 
<ind-its  native  inhabitants  were  handed  over  to  England. 

Reader  contemplate  the  following,  which  is  only  one  of 
thousands.  In  the  "California  Illustrated,"  a  book  written 
in  1849,  the  Author,  on  page  111,  says:  "In  passing  through 
a  slight  gorge,  I  came  upon  the  bodies  of  three  Indians  who 
had  been  dead  apparently  about  two  days,  each  bearing  the 
mark  of  the  unerring  rifle;  two  of  them  were  shot  through 
the  head;  the  sight  was  a  sad  one,  and  gave  rise  to  melan 
choly  reflections,  for  here  these  poor  beings  are  hunted  and 
shot  down  like  wild  beasts,  and  they  no  doubt  fell  by  the 
hand  of  the  assassin,  not  for  lucre  but  to  satiate  a  feeling  of 
hate."  "In  an  adjoining  territory  the  Red  Man  had  a  quiet 
home;  there  he  was  always  supplied  with  venison,  their  corn 
fields  ripened  in  autumn,  their  rude1  trap  furnished  clothing 
for  the  winter,  and  in  the  spring  they  danced  in  praise  of 
the  Great  Spirit  for  causing  flowers  to  bloom  upon  the  graves 
of  their  fathers,  but  the  white  stranger  came  and  took 
possession  of  their  hunting  grounds  and  streams,  and  har-« 
vested  their  corn.  They  held  a  council  and  decided  that  the 
Great  Spirit  had  sent  the  white  stranger,  and  it  would  be 
wrong  not  to  give  him  all  he  wished;  they  collected  their 
traps,  bows  and  arrows,  and  prepared  to  fall  back  in  search 
of  new  streams  and  hunting  grounds;  they  paid  the  last  visit 
to  the  graves  of  their  fathers.  What  were  their  -feelings? 
The  moon  threw  a  pale,  dim  light  through  the  foliage,  the 
air  breathed  a  mournful  sigh  as  they  reached  the  lonely 
mound;  the  stout  hearted  warrior  drew  his  blanket  to  hide 
his  tears  as  he  bowed  down  to  commune  for  the  last  time 
with  the  spirits  that  had  so  often  blessed  him  in  the  chase; 
his  heart  was  too  full,  and  he  fell  upon  his  face  and  wept 
bitterly.  But  a  last  adieu;  they  rise,  cross  the  arrows  over 
the  grave,  walk  mournfully  away;  the  Great  Spirit  give  them 
a  new  hunting  ground,  and  the  corn  ripens  on  the  plain,  but 


soon  the  white  stranger  comes  and  tells  them  to  fall  back. 
They  are  at  the  base  of  the  mountain;  there  are  no  hunting- 
grounds  beyond;  they  hold  a  council  and  to  defend 
their  homes  against  further  encroachments  of  the  white 
stranger.  The  white  was  strong  aiid  drove  the  Red  Man 
into  the  mountains,  and  for  the  crime  of  having  tried  to  de 
fend  their  homes  and  families,  they  are  placed  under  a  ban, 
and  hunted  down  like  beasts.  No  matter  where  they  are 
found  the  crime  of  being  a  Red  Man  is  a  forfeiture,  not  only 
of  all  right  to  prosperty  but  to  life  itself. 

"Will  not  some  philanthropist  rise  above  sectional -preju 
dices  and  undertake  the  regeneration  of  this  truly  noble  but 
down-trodden  people?  Had  I  the  wealth  of  an  Astor  I  would 
not  wish  a  better  or  nobler  field  for  immortality."  Will  not 
the  philanthropists  of  these  United  States  "rise  above  sec 
tional  prejudices,  and  undertake  the  regeneration  of  these 
truly"  infamous,  God-forsaken,  white  scoundrels,  that  so 
curse  our  land?  "I  would  not  wish  a  better  or  nobler  field 
for  immortality." 

"The  first  man  I  met  after  my  arrival  in  the  interior 
was  an  Oregonian  on  horseback,  armed  with  a  revolving  rifle 
in  search  of  Indians.  He  had  had  a  horse  stolen,  and  pre 
sumed  it  was  taken  by  an  Indian  ;he  swore  he  would  shoot  the 
first  red  skin  he  met;'  and  I  had  no  reason  .to  doubt  his 
word  ;  still  the  chances  were  ninety-nine  out  of  a  hundred, 
that  the  horse  was  stolen  by  a  white  man,  and  the  charges  of 
the  white  man  upon  the  Indians  are  like  Nero's  setting  Rome 
on  fire  and  charging  it  upon  Christians.  I  have  no  doubt  the 
three  Indians  above  spoken  of  were  wantonly  shot  while 
walking  peacefully  along  their  trail."  But  alas  !  who  would 
undertake  the  task  of  regenerating  the  harpies  that  are,  at 
the  present  day,  pursuing  the  Indians,  and  howling  at  their 

Eugene  V.  Smalley,  in  his  travels,  says:  "Near  the 
town  (Benton)  we  visited  the  camp  of  a  dozen  lodges  of  Pie- 
gan  Indians,  who  had  come  to  stay  all  winter  for  the  sake  of 
such  subsistence  as  they  could  get  from  the  garbage  barrels 
of  the  citizens.  A  race  of  valorous  hunters  and  warriors  has 
fallen  so  low  as  to  be  forced  to  beg  at  back  doors  for  kitchen 
refuse.  In  one  of  the  tepees  in  the  Piegan  camp  there  was 
an  affecting  scene.  A  young  squaw  lay  on  a  pile  of  robes 
and  blankets,  hopelessly  ill  and  given  up  to  die.  In  the  lines 
of  her  face  and  the  Expression  of  her  great  black  eyes  there 
were  traces  of  beauty  and  refinement  not  often  seen  in  Indian 
women.  Crouched  on  the  ground  by  her  side  sat  her  father, 
an  old' blind  man  with  long  white  hair  and  a  strong,  firm  face 
clouded  with  an  expression  of  stolid  grief.  The  Piegans 


and  Blackfeet,  who  possess  the  great  reservation  north  and 
east  of  Fort  Benton,  have  suffered  grievously  for  want 'of 
food,  and  hundreds  have  died  from  scrofula  and  otherdiseas- 
es  induced  by  insufficient  nourishment.  In  fact  the 
government  has  kept  them  in  a  state  of  semi-starva 
tion.  Father  Palladini  told  me  that  the  speeches  of 
Indian  chiefs  at  the  council,  where  they  told  of  their 
suffering  of  their  tribes  and  bared  their  emaciated  arms 
and  breasts  to  show  what  a  condition  they  had  been  brought 
by  hunger,  were  thrilling  bursts  of  Indian  oratory,  even  af 
fecting  listeners  who  could  not,  as  he  did,  understand  the 
spoken  words."  What  a  picture  is  here  represented  of  our 
policy  toward  the  Indians  !  What  an  illustration  of  the  de 
signs  of  that  arch  dissembler,  the  author  of  the  "Severalty 
Bill,"  whose  venal  soul  plunders  a  helpless  people  of  the 
homes  and  little  all  through  wilful  misrepresentation  and 
brazen-faced  falsehood.  What  a  true  elucidation  of  the  so- 
called  "Indian  Problem"  which  our  congress  has  so  long 
held  up  in  imaginary  suspension  in  mid  air  as  a  kind  of  Mo 
hamet's  coffin  ! 

The  ancient  traditional  history  of  the  Choctaws  and  Chick- 
asaws,  (the  former  signifying  Separation  and  the  latter  Re 
bellion — separation  and  rebellion  from  the  Muskogees,  now 
known  as  Creeks,  who,  according  to  tradition,  were  once  of 
one  tribe  before  their  migration  from  some  distant  country- 
far  to  the  west,  totheir  ancient  domain  east  of  the  Mississippi 
river,  which  is  of  more  than  dubious  authority)  claims  for 
them  a  Mexican  origin,  and  a  migration  from  that  country  at 
some  remote  period  in  the  past,  under  the  leadership  of  two 
brothers,  respectively  named  Chahtah  aud  Chikasah,  both 
noted  and  influential  chiefs,  to  their  possessions  east  of  the 
Mississippi.  Adair,  in  his  "American  Indians,"  says: 
•'The  Choctaws  and  Chickasaws  descended  from  a  people 
called  Chickemacaws,  who  were  among  the  first  inhabitants 
of  the  Mexican  empire  ;  and  at  an  ancient  period  wandered 
east,  with  a  tribe  of  Indians  called  Choccomaws  ;  and  finally 
crossed  the  Mississippi  river,  with  a  force  of  ten  thousand 
warriors."  It  is  reasonable  to  suppose  that  the  name 
Choctaw  has  its  derivation  from  Choccomaw,  and  Chickasaw, 
from  Chickemacaw  (both  corrupted)  ;  as  they  claim,  and  no 
doubt  justly,  the  names  Choctaw  and  Chickasaw  to  be  their 
ancient  and  true  names. 

Their  tradition,  in  regard  to  their  origin  as  related  by 
the  aged  Choctaws  to  the  missionaries  in  1820,  was  in  sub 
stance  as  follows:  In  a  remote  period  of  the  past  their  an 
cestors  dwelt  in  a  country  far  distant  toward  the  setting 
sun1;  and  being  conquered  and  greatly  oppressed  by  a  more 

HISTORY    OF    THE   INDIANS.  .  •        63 

powerful  people  (the  Spaniards  under  Cortez)  resolved  to 
seek  a  country  far  removed  from  the  possibility  of  their  op 

A  great  national  council  was  called,  to  which  the  entire 
nation  in  one  vast  concourse- quickly  responded.  After 
many  days  spent  in  grave  deliberations  upon  the  question  in 
Avhich  so  much  was  involved,  a  day  was  finally  agreed  upon 
and  a  place  of  rendezvous  duly  appointed  whence  they  should 
bid  a  final  adieu  to  their  old  homes  and  country  and  take  up 
their4ine  of  march  to  seek  others,  they  knew  not  where. 
When  the  appointed  day  arrived  it  found  them  at  the  desig 
nated  place  fully  prepared  and  ready  for  the  exodus  under 
the  chosen  leadership  of  two  brothers,  Chahtah  and  Chika- 
sah,  both  equally  renowned  for /their  bravery  and  skill  in 
war  and  their  wisdom  and  prudence  in  council ;  who,  as 
Moses  and  Aaron  led  the  Jews  in  their  exodus  from  Egypt, 
were  to  lead  them  from  a  land  of  oppression  to  one  of  peace, 
prosperity  and  happiness.  The  evening  before  their  de 
parture  a  "Fabussa"  (pole,  pro.  as  Fa-bus-sah)  was  firmly 
set  up  in  the  ground  at  the  centre  point  of  their  encamp 
ment,  by  direction  of  their  chief  medicine  man  and  prophet, 
whose  wisdom  in  matters  pertaining  to  things  supernatural 
was  unquestioned  and  to  whom,  after  many  days  fasting  and 
supplication,  the  Great  Spirit  had  revealed  that  the  Fabussa 
would  indicate  on  the  following  morning,  the  direction  they 
should  march  by  its  leaning  ;  and,  as  the  star  led  the  Magi 
to  where  the  world's  infant  Redeemer  and  Savior  sweetly  re 
posed,  so  the  leaning  of  the  pole,  on  each'  returning  morn, 
would  indicate  the  direction  they  must  travel  day  by  day  un 
til  they  reached  the  sought  and  desired  haven;  when,  on  the 
following  morn,  it  would  there  and  then  remain  as  erect  as 
it  had  been  placed  the  evening  before.  At  the  early  dawn  of 
the  following  morn  many  solicitous  eyes  were  turned  to  the 
silent  but  prophetic  Fabussa,  Lo!  It  leaned  to  the  east. 
Enough.  Without  hesitation  or  delay  the  mighty  host  began 
its  line  of  march  toward  the  rising  sun,  and  followed  each 
day  the  morning  directions  given  by  the  talismanic  pole, 
which  was  borne  by  day  at  the  head  of  the  moving  multi 
tude,  and  set  up  at  each  returning  evening  in  the  centre  of 
the  encampment,  alternately  by  the  two  renowned  chiefs-aiid 
brothers,  Chahtah  and  Chikasah.  For  weeks  and  months 
they  journeyed  toward  the  east  as  directed  by  the  undeviat- 
ing  fabussa,  passing  over  wide  extended  plains  and  through 
forests  vast  and  abounding  with  game  of  many  varieties 
seemingly  undisturbed  before  by  the  presence  of  man,  from 
which  their  skillful  hunters  bountifully  supplied  their  daily 
wants.  Gladly  would  they  have  accepted,  as  their  future 


asylum,  many  parts  of  the  country  /through  which  they 
traveled,  but  were  forbidden,  as  each  returning1  morn  the  un 
relenting-  pole  still  gave  its  silent  but  comprehended  com 
mand:  "Eastward  and  onward."  After  many  months  of 
wearisome  travel,  suddenly  a  vast  body  of  flowing1  water 
stretched  its  mighty  arm  athwart  their  path.  With  un 
feigned  astonishment  they  gathered  in  groups  upon  its  banks 
and  gazed  upon  its  turbid  waters.  Never  before  had  they 
even  heard  of,  or  in  all  their  wanderings  stumbled  upon 
aught  like  this.  Whence  its  origin?  Where  its  terminus? 
This  is  surely  the  Great  Father  the  true  source  of  all  waters, 
whose  age  is  wrapt  in  the  silence  of  the  unknown  past,  ages 
beyond  all  calculation,  and  as  they  then  and  there  named  it 
"Misha  Sipokni"  (Beyond  Age,  whose  source  and  terminus' 
are  unknown). 

Surely  a  more  appropriate,  beautiful  and  romantic  name, 
than  its  usurper  Mississippi,  without  any  signification.  But 
who  can  tell  when  the  waters  of  Misha  Sipokni  first 
found  their  way  from  the  little  Itasca  lake  hidden  in  its 
northern  home,  to  the  far  away  gulf  amid  the  tropics  of  the 
•south?  Who  when  those  ancient  Choctaws  stood  upon  its 
banks  and  listened  to  its  murmurings  which  alone  disturbed 
the  silence  of  the  vast  wilderness  that  stretched  away  on 
every  side,  could  tell  of  its  origin  and  over  what  mighty  dis 
tances  it  rolled  its  muddy  waters  to  their  ultimate  , destiny? 
And  who  today  would  presume  to  know  or  even  conjecture, 
through  what  mysterious  depths  its  surging  currents  strug 
gle  ere  they  plunge  into  the  southern  gulf?  But  what  now 
says  their  dumb  talisman?  Is  Misha  Sipokni  to  be  the 
terminus  of  their  toils?  Are  the  illimitable  forests  that  so 
lovingly  embraced  in  their  wide  extended  arms  its  restless 
waters  to  be  their  future  homes?  Not  so.  Silent  and  motion 
less,  still  as  ever  before,  it  bows  to  the  east  and  its  mandate 
"Onward,  beyond  Misha  Sipokni"  is  accepted  without  a 
murmur;  and  at  once  they  proceed  to  construct  canoes  and 
rafts  by  which,  in  a  few  weeks,  all  were  safely  landed  upon 
its  eastern  banks,  whence  again  was  resumed  their  eastward 
march,  and  so  continued  until  they  stood  upon  the  western 
banks  of  the  Yazoo  river  and  once  more  encamped  for  the 
night;  and,  as  had  been  done  for*  many  months  before,  ere 
evening  began  to  unfold  her  curtains  and  twilight  had 
spread  o'er  all  her  mystic  light,  the  Fabussa  (now  truly 
their  Delphian  oracle)  was  set  up;  but  ere  the  morrow's  sun 
had  plainly  lit  up  the  eastern  horizon,  many  anxiously  watch 
ing  eyes  that  early  rested  upon  its  straight,  slender,  silent 
fo.rm,  observed  it  stood  erect  as  when  set  up  the  evening  be 
fore.  And  then  was  borne  upon  that  morning  breeze 


throughout  the  vast  sleeping-  encampment,  the  joyful  accla 
mation,  "Fohah  hupishno  Yak!  Fohah  hupishno  Yak!  (pro. 
as  Fo-hah,  Rest,  hup-ish-noh,  we,  all  of  us,  Yak,  here.) 

Now  their  weary  pilgrimage  was  ended,  and  flattering- 
hope  portrayed  their  future  destiny  in  the  bright  colors  of 
peace,  prosperity  and  happiness.  Then,  as  commemorative 
of  this  great  event  in  their  national  history,  they  threw  up  a 
large  mound  embracing  three  acres  of  land  and  rising 
forty  feet  in  a  conical  form,  with  a  deep  hole  about  ten  feet 
in  diameter  excavated  on  the  top,  and  all  enclosed  by  a  ditch 
encompassing  nearly  twenty  acres.  After  its  completion,  it 
was  discovered  not  to  be  erect  but  a  little  leaning,  and  they 
named  it  Nunih  (mountain  or  mound,  Waiyah, leaning,  pro.  as 
Nunih  Wai-yah).  This  relic  of  the  remote  past  still  stands  half 
buried  in  the  accumulated  rubbish  of  years  unknown,  dis 
figured  also  by  the  desecrating  touch  of  time  which  has 
plainly  left  his* finger  marks  of  decay  .upon  it  blotting  out 
its  history,  with  all  others  of  its  kind,  those  memorials  of 
ages  past  erected  by  the  true  Native  American,  about  which 
so  much  has  been  said  in  conjecture  and  so  much  written  in 
speculation,  that  all  now  naturally  turn  to  anything  from 
their  modern  conjectures  and  speculations  with  much  doubt 
and  great  misgivings. 

Several  years  afterward,  according  to  the  tradition  of 
the  Choctaws  as  narrated  to  the  missionaries,  the  two 
brothers,  still  acting  in  the  capacity  of  chiefs,  'disagreed 
in  regard  to  some  national  question,  and,  as  Abraham  sugr 
gested  to  Lot  the  propriety  of  a  separation,  so  did  Chikasah 
propose  to  Chahtah;  but  not  with  that  unselfishness  that 
Abraham  manifested  to  Lot;  since  Chikasah,  instead  of 
giving  to  Chahtah  the  choice  of  directions,  proposed  that 
they  should  leave  it  to  a  game  of  chance,  to  which  Chahtah 
readily  acquiesced.  Thus  it  was  played:  They  stood  fac-^ 
ing  each  other,  one  to  the  east  and  the  other  to  the  west, 
holding  a  straight  pole,  ten  or  fifteen  feet  in  length,  in  an 
erect  position  between  them  with  one  end  resting  on  the 
ground;  and  both  were  to  let  go  of  the  pole  at  "the  same 
instant  by  a  pre-arranged  signal,  and  the  direction  in  which 
it  fell  was  to  decide  the  direction  in  which  Chikasah  was  to 
take.  If  it  fell  to  the  north,  Chikasah  and  his  adherents 
were  to  occupy  the  northern  portion  of  the  country,  and 
Chahtah  and  his  adherents,  the  southern;  but  if  it  felfto  the 
south,  then  Chikasah,  with  his  followers,  was  to  possess 
the  southern  portion  of  the  country,  and  Chahtah  with  his, 
the  northern.  The  game  was  played,  and  the  pole  decreed 
that  Chikasah  should-  take  the  northern  partv  of  their  then 
vast  and  magnificent  territory.  Thus  they  were  divided 



and  became  two  separate  and  distinct  tribes,  each  of  whom 
assumed  and  ever  afterwards  retained  the  name  of  their 
respective  chiefs,  Chahtah  and  Chikasah.  The  ancient 
traditions  of  the  Cherokees,  as  well  as  the  ancient  traditions 
of  the  Muscogees  (Creeks)  and  the  Natchez  also  point  back 
to  Mexico  as  the  country  from  which  they,  in  a  period  long- 
past,  moved  to  their  ancient  possessions  east  of  the  Missis 
sippi  river.  But  whether  they  preceded  the  Choctaws 
and  Chickasaws  or  came  after,  their  traditions  are  silent. 

Milfort,  (p.  269)  says  :  Big-  Warrior,  chief  of  the  Chero 
kees,  as  late  as  1822,  not  only  confirms  their  tradition  that 
Mexico  was  their  native  country,  but  goes  back  to  a  more 
remote  period  for  their  origin  and  claims  that  his  ancestors 
came  from  Asia;  crossing  Behring  Straits  in  their  canoes; 
thence  down  the  Pacific  coast  to  Mexico;  thence  to  the  coun 
try  east  of  the  Mississippi  river,  where  they  were  first 
known  to  the  Europeans. 

Mr.  Gaiues,  United  States  agent  to  the  Choctaws  in  1810, 
asked  Apushamatahaubi  (pro.  Ar-push-ah-ma-tar-hah  ub-ih), 
the  most  renowned  chief  of  the  Choctaws  since  their  acquain 
tance  with  the  white  race,  concerning-  the  origin  of  his  peo 
ple,  who  replied:  "A  hattaktikba  bushi-aioktulla  hosh  hopaki 
fi/una  moma  ka  minti"  (pro.  as  Arn  (my)  hut-tark-tik-ba 
(forefather)  hush-ih, -ai-o-kah-tullah  (the  west)  mo-mah  (all) 
meen-tih  (came)  ho-par-kih  (far)  feh-nah  (very)).  And  the 
same  response  was  always  given  by  all  the  ancient  Choctaws 
living-  east  of  the  Mississippi  river,  when  the  inquiry  was 
made  of  them,  whence  their  origin?  By  this  they  only  re 
ferred  to  the  country  in  which  their  forefathers  long  dwelt 
prior  to  their  exodus  to  the  east  of  the  Mississippi  river;  as 
they  also  had  a  tradition  that  their  forefathers  come  from  a 
country  beyond  the  "Big  Waters"  far  to  the  northwest, 
crossing  a  large  body  of  water  in  their  canoes  of  a  day's 
travel,  thence  doyvn  the  Pacific  coast  to  Mexico,  the  same  as 
the  Cherokees.  In  conversation  with  an  aged  Choctaw  in 
the  year  1884,  (Robert  Nail,  along  known  friend,)  upon  the 
subject,  he  confirmed  the  tradition  by  stating  that  his  peo 
ple  first  came  from  Asia  by  way  of  the  Behring  Straits.  He 
was, a  man  well  versed  in  geography,  being  taught  in  boy 
hood  by  the  missionaries  prior  to  their  removal  from  their 
eastern  homes  to  their  present  abode  north  of  Texas.  The 
Muscogees,  Shawnees,  Delawares,  Chippeways,  and  other 
tribes  also  have  the  same  traditions  pointing  beyond  Behring 
Straits  to  Asia  as  the  land  whence  their  forefathers  came  in 
ages  past.  Some  of  their  traditions  state,  that  they  crossed 
the  Strait  on  the  ice^  the  Chippeways  for  one  ;  but  the  most, 
according  to  their  traditions,  crossed  in  their  canoes.  But 


that  the  ancestors  of  the  North  American  Indians  came  at 
some  unknown  period  in  the  remote  past,  from  Asia  to  the 
North  American  continent,  there  can  be  no  doubt.  Their 
traditions,  pointing"  back  to  ancient  historical  events,  and 
many  other  things,  though  vague  by  the  mists  of  ages  past, 
yet  interestingly  strange  from  proximity  to  known  historical 
truths.  Noah,  who  lived  350  years  after  the  flood,  which  oc 
curred  1656  years  from  the  creation  of  man,  or  2348  B.  C., 
divided  the  earth,  according  to  general  opinion,  among  his 
three  sons.  To  Shem,  he  gave  Asia;  to  Ham,  Africa,  and  to 
Japheth,  Europe,  whose  posterity  are  described  occupying 
chiefly  the  western  and  northern  regions  (Gen.  x,  2-5);  this 
well  accords  with  the  etymology  of  the  name,  which  signifies 
widely  spreading  ;  and  how  wonderfully  did  Providence  en 
large  the  boundaries  of  Japheth!  His  posterity  diverged 
eastward  and  westward,  from  the  original  settlement  in  Ar 
menia,  through  the  whole  extent  of  Asia  north  of  the  great 
range  of  Taurus  distinguished  by  the  general  namesof  Tarta- 
ry  and  Siberia  as  far  as  the  Eastern  Ocean:  and,  in  process  of 
time,  by  an  easy  passage  across  Behring  Straits,  over  the  en 
tire  continent;  and  they  spread  in  the  opposite  direction, 
throughout  the  whole  of  Europe,  to  the  Atlantic  Ocean  ;  thus 
literally  encompassing  the  earth,  within  the  precincts  of 
the  northern  temperate  zone  ;  while  the  war-like  genius  of 
this  hardy  hunter  race  frequently  led  them  into  the  settle 
ments,  and  to  dwell  in  the  "tents  of  Shem,"  whose  pastoral 
occupations  rendered  them  more  inactive,  peaceable,  and  un- 

There  is  much  proof  in  favor  of  the  belief  that  the  Choc- 
taws,  Chickasaws,  Cherokees  and  Muscogees,  were  living  in 
Mexico  when  Cortez  overthrew  the  Aztec  dynasty. 

But  heavily  has  the  hand  of  time,  with  its  weight  of 
years,  rested  upon  the  descendants  of  the  people  over  whom, 
the  two  brothers,  Chahtah  and  Chikasah  swayed  the 
sceptre  of  authority  as  chiefs,  counselors  and  warriors,  in 
the  unknown  ages  of  the  past;  and  from  the  time  of  their 
traditional  migration  to  that  of  their  first  acquaintance  with 
the  White  Race,  what  their  vicissitudes  and  mutations;  wrhat 
their  joys  and  sorrows;  what  their  hopes  and  fears;  what 
their  lights  and  shadows,  during  the  long  night  of  historical 
darkness,  was  known  to  them  alone,  and  with  them  has  long 
been  buried  in  the  oblivion  of  the  hidden  past,  together  with 
that  of  their  entire  race.  Truly,  their  legends,  their  songs 
and  romances,  celebrating  their  exploits,  would  form,  if  but 
known,  a  literature  of  themselves;  and  though  their  ghosts 
still  ride  through  the  forests  and  distant  echoes  o^  them  are 
still  heard  in  vague  tradition,  yet  they  afford  but  a  slender 


basis  for  a  history  for  this  broad  fabric  of  romance,'  while 
around  them  still  cluster  all  those  wonderful  series  of  myths 
which  have  spread  over  the  land  and  assumed  so  many 
shapes.  But  what  a  volume  of  surpassing-  romance;  of  fon 
dest  hopes,  of  blighted  aspirations;  of  glorious  enthuiasms; 
of  dark  despair,  and  of  touching-  pathos,  would  their  full 
history  make?  They  owned  this  vast  continent,  and  had 
possessed  it  for  ages  exceeding-  in  time  the  ability  of  the 
human  mind  to  conceive;  and  they  too  speak  of  the  long  in 
fancy  of  the  human  race;  of  its  slow  advance  in  culture;  of 
its  triumphs  over  obstacles,  and  of  the  final  appearance  of 
that  better  day,  when  ideas  of  truth,  justice,  and  that  ad 
vanced  stage  of  enlightenment  had  been  reached  wherein  we 
speak  of  man  as  civilized.  They  were  of  a  cheerful  and  joy 
ous  disposition,  and  of  a  kindly  nature,  the  croaking-  and 
.snarlings  of  ignorance  and  prejudice  to  the  contrary  not 
withstanding.  Their  civilization  has  been '  grossly  under 
estimated.  We  have  unjustly  contemplated  them  to  a  ridicu 
lous  extent  through  our  own  selfish  and  narrow  contracted 
spectacles,  and  have  so  loudly  talked  of  and  expatiated  upon 
their  forests,  that  we  have  forgotten  their  cornfields;  and 
repeatedly  spoken  of  their  skill  as  hunters,  until  we  have 
overlooked  their  labors  as  herdsmen;  while,  at  the  same  time, 
it  has  been  customary  every  where  to  look  down  upon  them 
with  emotions  of  contempt  and  to  decry  their  habits  and 
customs.  I  do  not  deny  the  existence  of  blemishes  in  many 
of  their  characteristics;  nor  deny  that  superstitions  and 
erroneous  opinions  were  prevalent,  at  which  we  have  assumed 
to  be  greatly  horrified;  yet,  do  condemn  the  modern  writers 
for  their  want  of  judgment  on  this  point,  -?nd  their  unreason 
able  severity  in  their  condemnation  of  the  Indians,  in  whom 
they  profess  to  have  discovered  so  many  defects  without  a 
redeeming-  virtue;  and  their  disregard  of  the  truth,  that,  to 
him  alone  who  is  without  sin  is  given  the  right  to  cast  the 
first  stone.  Therefore,  how  could  it  be  otherwise  than  that, 
concerning-  the  dealings  of  the  White  Race  with  the  Red, 
there  is  a  sad,  fearful  and  revolting,  story 'to  be  told;  while 
losing  ourselves  in  the  wild  revelry  of  imagination,  we  dream 
of  the  time  when  our  civilization  and  Quixotic  ideas  of  human 
liberty  shall  embrace  the  entire  world  in  its  folds. 

The  Choctaws  were  first  made  known  to  the  European 
world  by  the  journalists  of  that  memorable  adventurer. 
Hernando  De  Soto,  who  invaded  their  territory  October, 
1540,  and  introduced  the  civilized  (so-called)  race  of  man 
kind  to  the  Choctaws  in  the  following  manner:  A  manly 
young  Indian  of  splendid,  proportions,  and  with  a  face  ex 
tremely  attractive  and  interesting,  visited  De  Soto  after  he 


had  left  Tallase.  He  was  the  son  of  Tuscaloosa  (corruption 
of  the  Choctaw  words  Tushka,  warrior,  Lusa,  black),  a  re 
nowned  chief  whose  territories  extended  to  the  distant 
Tombigbee  in  the  west.  (Tombigbee  is  a  corruption  of  the 
Choctaw  words  Itombi,  box,  ikbi,  maker),  a  name  given  to  a 
white  man,  it  is  said,  who,  at  an  early  day,  settled  on  the 
banks  of  the  river  and  made  boxes  for  the  Choctaws,  in 
which  were  placed  the  bones  of  their  dead,  which  will  be  par 
ticularly  noticed  elsewhere. 

The  young  warrior  bore  an  invitation  from  his  father 
to  De  Soto  to  visit  him  at  his  capital.  The  next  da.y  De  Soto, 
advancing  to.  within  six  miles  of  where  the  great  chief  await 
ed  him,  made  a  halt,  and  sent  Louis  de  Mascosso  with' fifteen 
horsemen  to  inform  Tush  ka  Lusa  of  his  near  approach. 
Mascosso  and  his  troopers  soon  appeared  before  Tush  ka 
Lusa,  who  was  seated  upon  an  eminence  commanding  a 
broad  and  delightful  view.  He  was  a  man  of  powerful  stat 
ure,  muscular  limbs,  yet  of  admirable  proportions,  with  a 
countenance  grave  and  severe,  yet  handsome.  When  De 
Soto  arrived  Tush  ka  Lusa  arose  and  advanced  to  meet  him 
with  a  proud  and  haughty  air,  and  said :  ''Great  Chief  ;  I  re 
ceive  you  as  a  brother,  and  welcome  you  to  my  country.  I  am 
ready  to  comply  with  your  requests."  After  a  few  prelimi 
naries,  in  company  with  Tush  ka  Lusa  and  his  followers,  De 
Soto  took  up  his  line  of  inarch  for  Mobila  the  capital  of  the 
mighty  chief.  (Mobila  is  a  corruption  of  the  two  Choctaw 
words  moma,  all,  binah,  a  lodge,  literally  a  lodge  or  encamp 
ment  for  all.) 

.On  the  third  day  of  their  march  from  Piache,  (a  corrup 
tion  of  the  Choctaw  word  Pi-a-chih,  to  care  for  us),  they 
passed  through  many  populous  towns,  well  stored  with  corn, 
beans  and  other  provisions.  On  the  fourth  morning,  De 
Soto,  with  a,  hundred  cavalry  and  as  many  infantry,  made  a 
forced  march  with  Tush  ka  Lusa  in  the  direction  of  Mobila, 
leaving  Mascosso  to  bring  up  the  rear.  At  eight  o'clock  the 
same  morning,  October  18th,  1540,  De  Soto  and  Tush  ka 
Lusa  reached  the  capital.  It  stood  by  the  side  of  a  large 
river,  upon  a  beautiful  plain,  and  consisted  of  eighty  hand 
some  houses,  each  large  enough  to  contain  a  thousand  men, 
and  all  fronting  a  large  public  square.  Dodge  says  in  his 
book  styled  "Our  Wild  Indians"  that  "The  aboriginal  in 
habitants  of  the  North  American  continent,  have  never  at  any 
time  exceeded  half  a  million  souls;"  yet  according  to  De 
Soto's  journalists  who  were  with  him  in  his  memorable  raid, 
Mobila  alone,  "consisted  of  eighty  handsome  houses,  each 
large  enough  to  contain  a  thousand  men;"  'and  if  each  house 
contained  Dodge's  "several  families  consisting  6f  men,  with 


two  or  three  wives,  and  children  of  all  ages  and  sexes,  occu 
py  for  all  purposes  one  single  lodge  of  12  or  15  feet  in 
diameter  what  must  have  been  the  number  of  iiidabitants 
in  Mobila  with  "80  handsome  houses,  each  large  enough  to 
contain  a  thousand  men"  with  two,  three,  or  more  wives, 
and  children  occupying  "for  all  purposes,"  a  space  only  "12 
or  15  feet, in  diameter"?  The  reader  can  make  the  calcula 
tion  at  his  own  leisure ;  though  it  seems  Mobila  alone  con 
tained  over  half  the  number  of  souls  that  Dodge  allows  for 
the  entire  continent,  "at  one  time." 

A  high  wrall  surrounded  the  town,  made  of  immense 
trunks  of  trees  set  close  together  and  deep  in  the  ground, 
and  made  strong  with  heavy  cross  timbers  interwoven"with 
large  vines.  A  thick  mud  plaster,  resembling  handsome 
masonry,  concealed  the  wood  work,  while  port-holes  were 
abundant,  together  with  towers,  capable  of  holding  eight 
men  each,  at  the  distance  of  fifteen  paces  apart.  There 
were  two  gates  leading  into  the  town,  one  on  the  east,  the 
other  on  the  west.  De  Soto  and  Tush  ka  Lusa  were  es 
corted  into  the  great  public  square  with  songs  and  chants, 
and  the  dancing  of  beautiful  Indian  girls.  They  alighted 
from  their  horses,  and'  were  given  seats  under  a  canopy  of 
state.  Having  remained  seated  for  a  short  time,  Tush  ka 
Lusa  now  requested  that  he  should  no  longer  be  held  as  a 
hostage  ;  to  which  De  Soto  giving  no  heed,  the  indignant 
chief  at  once  arose  and  walked  off  with  an  independent  atti 
tude  to  where  a  group  of  his  warriors  stood.  De  Soto  had 
scarcely  recovered  from  his  surprise  at  the  independent  con 
duct  of  Tush  ka  Lusa,  when  Jean  Ortez  followed  the  chief 
and  stated  that  breakfast  awaited  him  at  De  Soto's  table  ; 
but  he  refused  to  return,  and  added,  "If  your  chief  knows 
what  is  best  for  him,  he  will  immediately  take  his  troops  out 
of  my  territory."  At  this  juncture  De  Soto  secretly  sent  word 
to  his  men  to  be  prepared  for  an  attack.  Then,  hoping  to 
prevent  an  attack  until  he  could  again  get  in  possession  of 
the  chief,  De  Soto  advanced  toward  him  with  assumed  smiles 
and  words  of  friendship,  but  Tush  ka  Lusa  scornfully 
turned  his  back  upon  him,  and  was  soon  hidden  among  the 
multitude  of  now  highly  excited  warriors.  Justthen  a  warrior 
rushed  out  of  a  house, 'denouncing  the  Spaniards  as  robbers 
and  murderers  and  declared  that  they  should  no  longer  impose 
on  their  chief,  by  holding  him  as  a  prisoner.  His  words  so  en 
raged  Baltaserde  Gallagas,  that  he  cut  the  warrior  in  twain  with 
one  sweep  of  his  broad  sword.  At  the  sight  of  their  slain 
warrior,  the  Choctaws,  with  their  defiant  war-whoop,  at  once 
rushed  upon  De  Soto  and  his  men.  De  Soto,  placing  himself 
at  the  head  of  his  men,  fighting  and  retreating, 


slowly  made  his  way  out  of  the  town  into  the 
plain;  and  continued  to  retreat  until  he  had 
reached  a  considerable  distance  upon  the  plain.  In  the 
mean  time  the  troopers  rushed  to  secure  their  horses,  which 
had  been  tied  outside  of  the  walls.  The  Choctaws  at  once 
knocked  the  chains  from  the  hands  and  feet  of  the  Indian 
prisoners  whom  De  Soto  had  brought  with  him,  giving1  them 
weapons  bade  them  help  destroy  the  perfidious  strang'ers.  In 
the  first  rush  the  Choctaws  killed  five  of  the  Spaniards,  who 
had  been  left  outside  of  the  walls,  and  were  loudly  exulting 
over  their  seeming  good  fortune  in  dense  masses  before  the 
gate.  At  that  moment,  De  Soto  with  his  cavalry,  closely 
followed  by  his  infantry,  made  a  fearful  charge  upon  the 
disordered  mass  of  the  Choctaws,  who  were  still  on  the  out 
side  of  the  enclosures,  and  with  a  terrible  slaughter  drove 
them  back  into  the  town.  Immediately  the  Choctaws 
rushed  to  the  port-holes  and  towers,  and  hurled  clouds  of  ar 
rows  and  spears  upon  the  Spaniards,  and  again  drove  them 
from  the  walls.  Seeing  the  Spaniards  again  retreat,  again 

/the  Choctaws  rushed  through  the  gate  and  fearlessly  attacked 
the  Spaniards  fighting  them  hand  to  hand  and  face  to  face. 
Three  long  hours  did  the  battle  rage,  the  Spaniards  now  re 
treating,  then  the  Choctaws.  Like  a  spectre  De  Soto  seemed 
every  where  hewing  down  on  the  right  and  left,  as  if  his 
arm  could  never  tire.  vThat  sword,  which  had  been  so  often 
stained  with  the  blood  of  the  South  American,  was  now  red 
with  that  of  the  North  American,  a  still  braver  race.  Above 
the  mighty  din  was  heard  the  voice  of  Tush  ka  Lusa  en 
couraging  his  warriors  ;  his  tomahawk,  wielded  by  his  mus 
cular  arm,  ascended  and  descended  in  rapid  strokes,  like  a 
meteor  across  a  starry  sky.  But  could  the  feeble  bow  and 

1  arrow  and  the  tomahawk  avail  against  the  huge  lance  and 
broad-sword?  What  the  unprotected  body  of  the  Choctaw 
warrior  against  the  steel  clad  body  of  the  Spanish  soldier? 
At  length  the  Choctaws  were  forced  to  make  a  permanent  re 
treat  within  the  enclosure  of  their  town,  closing  the  gates 
after  them;  and  at  the  same  time  the  Spaniards  made  a  des 
perate  charge  against  the  gates  and  walls,  but  were  met 
with  showers  of  arrows  and  other  missiles.  But  the  infant 
ry,  protected  by  their  bucklers,  soon  hewed  the  gates  to 
pieces  with  their  battle-axes,  and  rushed  into  the  town,  while 
the  cavalry  remained  on  the  outside  to  cut  to  pieces  all  who 
might  attempt  to  escape.  Then  began  a  carnage  too  awful 
to  relate.  The  Choctaws  fought  in  the  streets,  in  the 
square,  from  the  house  top,  and  walls ;  and  though  the 
ground  was  covered  with  their  dead  and  dying  relatives  and 
friends,  still  no  living  one  entreated* for -quarter.  Hotter 


and  hotter,  and  more  bloody  waxed  the  desperate  conflict. 
Often  the  Choctaws  drove  the  Spaniards  out  of  the  town,  but 
to  see  them  return  again  with  demoniac  fury.  To  such  a 
crisis  had  the  battle  now  arrived,  that  there  could  be  no  idle 
spectators  ;  and  now  were  seen  women  and  girls  contending 
side  by  side  with  the  husbands,  fathers  and  ^brothers^  and 
fearlessly  sharing  in  the  dangers  and  in  the  indiscriminate 
slaughter.  At  length  the  houses  were  setson  fire, .  and  the 
wind  blew  the  smoke  and  flames  in  all  directions  adding  hor 
ror  to  the  scene.  The  flames  ascended  in  mighty  volumes. 
The  din  of  strife  began  to  grow  fainter.  The  sun  weut 
down,  seemingly  to  rejoice  in  withdrawing  from  the  sicken 
ing  scene.  Then  all  was  hushed.  Mobila  was  in  ruins, 
and  her  people  slain.  For  nine  long  hours  had  the  battle 
raged.  Eighty-two  Spaniards  were  killed^  and  forty-five 
horses.  But  alas,  the  poor  Choctaws,  who  participated  in 
the  fight  were  nearly  all  slain. 

Garcellasso  asserts  that  eleven  thousand  were  slain; 
while  the  "Portuguese  Gentleman"  sets  the  number  at  twenty 
five  hundred  within  the  town  alone.  Assuming  a  point  be 
tween  the  two,  it  is  reasonable  to  conclude  that  six  thousand 
were  killed  in  and  outside  of  the  town.  Tushka  Lusa 
perished  with  his  people.  After  the  destruction  of  Mobila, 
De  Soto  remained  a  few  days  upon  the  plains  around  the 
smoking  town  ;  sending  out  foraging  parties,  who  found  the 
neighboring  villages  well  stocked  with  provisions.  In  all 
these  foraging-  excursions,  females  of  great  beauty  were 
captured,  and  added  to  those  taken  at  the  close  of  the  battle. 
On  Sunday  the. 18th  of  November,  1540,  this  monster  and 
his  fiendish  crew  took  their  departure  from  the  smouldering 
ruins  of  Mobila,  and  its  brave  but  murdered  inhabitants;  and 
with  the  poor  Mobila  girls,  at  whose  misfortunes  humanity 
weeps,  resumed  their  westward  march.'' 

Thus  the  Europeans  introduced  themselves  to  the  Native 
Americans  nearly  four  centuries  ago  as  a  race  of  civilized  and 
Christian  pe.ople,  'but  proving  themselves  to  be  a  race  of 
fiends  utterly  void  of  every  principle  of  virtue  known  to  man. 
And  thus  the  Native' American's  introduced  themselves  to  the 
Europeans  as  a  race  unknown  to  civilization  and  Christianity, 
yet  proving  themselves  possessed  of  many  virtues  that  adorn 
man,  together  with  a  spirit  of  as  true  and  noble  patriotism, 
martyrs  upon  the.  altar  of  liberty,  that  has  never  been  sur 
passed  . 

I  challenge  history  to  show  a  nation  whose  people  ever 
displayed  a  more  heroic  courage  in  defense  of  their  country 
and  homes  than  did  Tushka  Lusa  and  his  brave  people  in 
defending  their  town  Mama-binah.  They  exposed  their 


naked  breasts  to  the  keen  lances  and  swords  of  those  iron-clad 
Spaniards  with  but  stone  and  bone-tipped  spears  and  the 
feeble  bow  and  arrow,  which  were  but  as  toy  pistols  against 
the  deadly  Winchester  rifle  of  the  present  day;  and  heroic 
ally  stood  face  to  face  with  their  terrible  foes  with  their  frail 
weapons  and  disputed  every  inch  of  ground,  and  yielded 
only  when  none  was  left  to  fight.  That  they  should  have 
killed  eighty  two  of  the  Spaniards  with  their  feeble  weapons 
is  truly  astonishing,  proving  conclusively  that  had  they  been 
on  equal  footing  with  the  Spaniards,  not  a  Spaniard  would 
have  survived  to  tell  the  tale  of  their  complete  destruction. 

That  the  Mobiliaiis,as  they  have  been  called  by  the  early 
writers,  were  a  clan  of  the  ancient  Choctaws  there  can  be  no 
doubt  whatever  The  early  French  colonists  established  in 
the  south  under  Bienville  called  the  Choctaws,  Mobilians 
and  Pafalaahs  (corruption  of  the  Choctaw  words  pin,  our, 
okla,  people,  falaiah,  tall),  and  also  called  the  Chickasaws 
Mobilians;  they  also  state  that  the  Choctaws,  Pifalaiahs  or 
more  properly,  Hottak  falaiahs  (long  or  tall  men)  and  Mobi 
lians  spoke  the  same  language.  The  present  city  of  Mobile 
in  Alabama  was  named  after  the  Mobila  "Iksa,"  or  clan  of 
Choctaws  by  Bienville  at  the  time  he  laid  its  foundation. 
Moma  binah,  or  Mobinah  (from  which  Mobile  is  derived)  and 
Pifalaiah  are  pure  Choctaw  words.  According  to  the  ancient 
traditions  of  the  Choctaws,  and  to  which  the  ag*ed  Choctaws 
now  living  still  affirm,  their  people  were,  in  the  days  of  the 
long  past,  divided  into  two  great  Iksas ;  one  was  Hattak  i  ho- 
lihtah  (Pro.  har-tark,  men,  i,  their  holihta,  ho-lik-tah, 
fenced  ;  i,  e.  Their  men  fortify).  The  other,  Kashapa  okla 
{as  Ka-shar-pau-oke-lah):  Part  people,  i.  e.  A  divided  people. 
The  two  original  clans,  subsequently  divided  into  six  clans, 
were  named  as  follows  :  Haiyip  tuk  lo  hosh,  (The  two 
lakes.)  Hattak  falaiah  (as,  Har-tark  fa-lai-yah  hosh.  The 
long  man  or  men.  Okla  huniiali  hosh  (as  Oke-lah  huri-nar- 
lih  hosh.  People  six  the.  Kusha  (Koon-shah)  Being  broken. 
Apela,  (A  help.)  Chik  a  sah  ha,  (A  Chckasaw.) 

In  1721,  a  remnant  of  the  Mobilians  were  living  at  the 
junction  of  the,  Alabama  and  Tombigbee  rivers,  but  finally 
united  with  other  clans  of  the  Choctaws,  their  own  people, 
and  thus  became  extinct  as  an  iksa.  The  laws  of  the  great 
Iksas  or  families,  Hattak  i  holahta  and  kash  ap  a  okla,  for 
bade  the  marriage  of:  any  person,  either  male  or  female, 
belonging  to  the  same  clan;  which,  as  the  laws  of  the  Medes 
and  Persians,  were  unchangeable ;  and  to  this  day,  the  same 
laws  relating  to  marriage  are  strictly  observed. 

From  the  destruction  of  Mobila  by  De  Soto,  a  long,  star 
less  night  of  nearly  two  centuries  throws  its  impenetrable 


veil  over  the  Choctaws  shrouding-  their  history  in  the  oblivion 
of  the  past.  But  that  they,  with  other  southern  tribes,  were 
a  numerous  and  also  an  agricultural  people  as  far  back  as 
the  fifteenth  century  there  is  no  doubt ;  though  agricultural 
to  a  small  extent  in  comparison  with  the  whites;  yet  to  a 
sufficient  degree  to  satisfy  the  demands  of  any  people  to 
who  avarice  was  an  entire  stranger,  and  who  adhered  to  the 
maxim  "Sufficient  unto  the  day  is  the  evil  thereof." 

When  De  Soto  passed  through  Georgia,  his  route  was 
lined  with  towns,  villages  and  hamlets,  and  many  sown  fields 
which  reached  from  one  to  the  other.  The  numerous  log- 
pens  were  full  of  corn,  while  acres  of  that  which  was  grow 
ing  bent  to  the  warm  rays  of  the  sun  and  rustled  in  the 
.breeze.  "On  the  18th  of  September,  1540,  De  Soto  reached  the 
town  of  Tallase,  a  corruption  of  the  Choctaw  words  Tuli, 
rock,  and  aisha,  abound,  i.  e.  the  place  of  rocks." 

It  stood  upon  a  point  of  land  almost  surrounded  by  a 
main  river.  Extensive  fields  of  corn  reached  up  and  down 
the  banks.  On  the  opposite  side  were  other  towns,  skirted 
with  rich  fields  laden  with  heavy  ears  of  corn.  On  the 
third  day  the  of  march  from  Piache,  they  passed  through 
many  populous  towns,  well  stored  with  corn,  beans,  pump 
kins,  and  other  provisions." 

But  the  six  great  southern  tribes,  Choctaws,  Chickasaws, 
Cherokees,  Muscogees,  Seminoles  and  Natchez  possessed 
too  grand  a  country  not  to  attract  the  eyes  of  the  fortune 
hunters  of  all  Europe,  and  excite  their  cupidity  to  the  high 
est  degree;  therefore,  the  French  in  Lousiana,  the  Span 
iards  in  Florida,  and  the  English  in  Virginia  and  the  Caro- 
linas,  early  sought  to  establish  a  foothold  in  the  territories 
of  those  warlike  and  independent  tribes  by  securing,  each 
for  himself,  their  trade,  with  a  view  of  ultimately  conquering 
them  and  thus  getting  possession  of  their  territories  and 
country.  As  early  as  1670  the  English  traders  and  emissa 
ries  had  also  found  their  way  to  the  Choctaws,  Chickasaws 
and  Muscogees;  and  but  few  years  had  passed  before  their 
designs,  together  with  those  of  the  French  and  Spaniards, 
were  plainly  manifested. 

By  each  exciting  the  Indians  and  influencing  them  to 
drive  the  others  from  their  territories;  each  hoping  thus  to 
ultimately  secure  these  regions  for  their  own  country  and 
their  personal  interests.  As  the  French  had  artfully  gained 
and  held  the  friendship  and  confidence  of  the  Choctaws,  so 
had  the  English  secured  and  held  that  of  the  Chickasaws; 
hence  those  two  brave,  and  then  powerful  tribes,  were  in 
duced  to.  make  frequent  wars  upon  each  other, ,  and  thus 
each  foolishly  but  ignorantly  furthering  the  designs  of  their 


mutual  foes  against  themselves,  the  Choctaws  weakening  and 
destroying  the  Chickasaws  for  the  benefit  of  the  French, 
alone,  and  the  Chickasaws  for  the  benefit  alone  of  the  Eng 
lish;  neither  caring  a  fig  for  either  the  Choctaw^  or  Chicka 
saws, 'only  so  far  as  prosecuting  their  designs  the  one  against 
the  otheV;  each  with  the  hope  of  driving  the  other  out 
of  the  country,  and  then,  being  enabled  easily  to  subjugate 
the  Indians  by  their  weakened  condition,  they  would  soon 
secure  their  country;  therefore,  the  more  Indians  killed,  no 
matter  by  whom  or  by  what  means,  the  better.  Thus  were 
the  grasping  hands  of  the  two  unscrupulous  rivals  mani 
fested  as  long  as  they  possessed  any  power  or  authority  upon 
the  North  American  continent  now  forming  the  United 

In  1696,  Bienville  convened  the  chiefs  of  the  Choctaws 
and  Chickasaws  in  council,  that  he  might  conciliate  their  good 
will  by  presents;  and,  with  a  view  of  impressing  them  with 
his  power  and  greatness  by  an  imposing  display,  he  also 
called  together  all  the  colonists  within  his  reach;  but  his  effort 
to  impress  the  Choctaws  and  Chickasaws  with  an  idea  of  his 
greatness  proved  more  humiliating  than  flattering  to  the 
pride  of  Bienville,  as  they  manifested  to  him  their  utter  con 
tempt  of  such  a  farcical  evidence  of  power  and  greatness,  by 
propounding-  a  question  to  him,  through  one  of-  their  chiefs, 
which  was  a  humiliating  proof  of  the  low  estimation  in  which 
they  held  him  as  well  as  the  entire  French  people;  it  was,  "If 
his  people  at  home  were  as  numerous  as  those  who  had  set-' 
tied  in  their  country"?  In  reply,  Bienville,  who  had  learned 
to  speak  their  language  to  some  extent,  attempted  to  describe 
to  them  by  various  comparisons  the  great  numbers  and 
power  of  the  French.  But  still  the  chiefs  proved  not  only  to 
be  douhting  Thomases,  but  wholy  established  in  the  belief 
that  all  he  had  said  was  false,  by  finally  propounding  the 
following  questions:  "If  your  countrymen  are  as  thick,  as  you 
say,  on  their  native  soil  as  the  leaves  on  the  trees  of  our 
forests,  why  have  they  not  sent  more  of  their  warriors  here 
to  avenge  the  death  of  those  whom  we  have  slain  in  battle? 
When  they  have  the  power  to  avenge  their  death  and  then  fail 
do  so,  is  an  evidence  of  great  cowardice  or  a  mean  spirit. 
And  why  is  it  that  the  places  of  the  strong  and  brave  soldiers 
that  first  came  with  you,  but  now  dead,  are  filled  by  so  many 
little,  weak  and  bad  looking  men,  and  even  boys?  If  your 
nation  is  so  great  and  your  people  so  numerous,  they  would 
not  thus  act,  and  we  believe  that  our  white  brother  talks  with 
a  forked  tongue."  Thus  was  Bienville  fully  convinced  that 
the  Choctaws  and  Chickasaws  did  not  tremble  through  fear 
of  his  boasted  power;  and  that,  they  also  well  knew  that  he 


only  had  about,  fifty  soldiers  at  his  command,  and  that  his 
attempted  display  of  power  had  but  convinced  them  of  his 
weakness.  And  had  the  ChOctaws  and  Chickasaws  been  so 
disposed,  they  could,  with  a  little  handful  of  their  warriors, 
have  wiped  out  the  French  colony,  Bienville,  soldiers  and  all. 

In  1702,  Bienville,  then  commander  of  the  French  at  Mo 
bile,  secretly  sent  out  a  small  party  to  the  Choctaws  and 
ChickasawTs  to  solicit  their  friendship,  and  thus  secure  their 
trade.  A  few  chiefs  returned  with  the  party  to  Mobile, 
whom  Bienville  welcomed  and  entertained  with  affected 
friendship  and  assumed  hopitality,  bestowing"  presents  and 
soliciting"  their  friendship;  yet,  "In  January,  1704,"  says 
Barnard  de  la  Harpe,  pp.  35,  83,  "Bienville  induced  several 
war  parties  of  the  Choctaws  to  invade  the  country  of  the  In 
dian  allies  of  the  English,  and  having"  taken  several  scalps, 
they  broug-ht  them  to  Bienville,  who  rewarded  them  satisfac 
torily;"  thus  involving"  the  Choctaws,  whose  interests  he' pro 
fessed  to  have  so  much  at  heart,  in  destructive  warfare  so 
greatly  detrimental  to  their  national  interests;  and  proving 
the  shallowness  of  his  professed  friendship  for  the  Indians 
and  the  perfidy  of  his  nature,  in  a  letter  to  the  French  min 
ister,  October  12.  1708,  in  which  he  suggested  the  propriety 
of  the  French  colonists  in  North  America,  being"  allowred  the 
privilege  offending  Indians  to  the  West  India  Islands  to  be 
exchanged  as  slaves  for  negroes,  and  asserting  that  "those 
Islanders  would  give  t\vo  negroes  for  three  Indians." 

There  was  a  tradition  of  the  Choctaws  related  to  the 
missionaries  over  seventy-five  years  ago  by  the  old  warriors 
of  the  Choctaws  of  that  day,  who  for  many  years  before  had 
retired  from  the  hardships  of  the  war-path,  which  stated 
that  a  two  years'  war  broke  out  between  their  nation  and 
the  Chickasaws,  over  a  hundred  years  before  (about  1705) 
the  advent  of  the  missionaries  among  them,  resulting  in  the 
loss  of  many  warriors  on  both  sides  and  finally  ending  in  the 
defeat  of  the  Chickasaws  ;  whereupon  peace  was  restored  to 
the  mutual  gratification  of  both  nations  wearied  with  the 
long  fratricidal  strife.  This  war  had  its  origin  as  the  tra 
dition  affirms,  in  an  unfortunate  affair  that  occurred  in  Mo 
bile,  (then  a  little  French  trading  post)  between  a  party  of 
Chickasaw  warriors  (about  seventy)  who  had  gone  there 
for  the  purpose  of  trade,  and  a  small  band  of  Choctaws  who 
had  preceded  them  on  the  same  business.  While  three  to 
gether,  a  quarrel  arose  between  some  of  the  different  war 
riors  resulting  in  a  general  fight,  in  which,  though  several 
Chickasaws  were  killed  and  wounded,  the  entire  little  band  of 
Choctaws  was  slain  as  was  supposed;  but  unfortunately  for 
the  Chickasaws  a  Choctaw  happening  to  be  in  another  part 'of 


the  town  at  the  time  of  the  difficulty,  escaped  ;  and  learning 
at  once  of  the  killing1  of  his  comrades,  fled  for  home,  where 
arriving-  safely  he  informed  his  people  of  the  bloody  tragedy 
at  Mobile.  Without  delay  the  Choctaws  adopted  measures 
of  revenge.  Knowing  that  the  company  of  Chickasaws 
would  have  to  return  home 'through  their  country,  they  laid 
their  plans  accordingly.  The  Chickasaws,  not  without  fears, 
however,  lest  the  Choctaws  might  have  heard  of  the  unfor 
tunate  affair,  secured  an  escort  from  Bienville  of  twenty-five 
Canadians  under  the  command  of  Boisbriant.  As  they  ap 
proached  a  village,  the  Choctaws  sent  a  small  company  to 
invite'  and  escort  them  to  a  council  pretenvedly  to  be  in 
session ;  which  the  Chickasaws,  feeling-  safe  under  their 
escort,  accepted.  They  were  escorted  to  the  sham  council, 
and  were  given,  as  was  customary  on  such  occasions,  the 
inside  circles,  all  seated  on  the  ground;  while  the  Choctaws 
formed  a  circle  completely  hemming-  them  in.  A  Choctaw 
chief  then  arose  and  advanced  with  g*reat  solemnity  and  dig- 
nity  to  thecspeaker's  place  in  the  centre,  with  a  tomahawk 
concealed  under  his  dress,  wrhich,  when  he  drew  from  its 
place  of  concealment,  was  the  signal  for  the  work  of  death 
to  begin.  The  speaker  went  on  for  a  few  minutes  in  a 
strain  of  wild  eloquence,  but  saying  nothing  that  would 
awaken  the  least  suspicion  in  the  minds  of  his  still  unsus 
pecting  guests;  when  suddenly  he  snatched  the  fatal  toma 
hawk  from  its  concealment  and  in  an  instant  hundreds  of 
tomahawks,  heretofore  concealed,  gleamed  a  moment  in  the 
air  and  then  descended  upon  the  heads  of  the  doomed  Chicka 
saws,  and,  ere  they  had  time  for  a  second  thought,  all  were 
slain.  The  Choctaws  knowing  that  the  Chickasaws  would 
hear  of  the  destruction  of  their  brethren  and  would  retaliate 
upon  them,  rushed  at  once  jnto  their  country  and  destroyed 
several  villages  ere  the  Chickasaws  could  recover  from  their 
surprise.  But  the  brave  and  dauntless  Chickasaws,  ever  equal 
to  any  and  all  emergencies,  soon  rallied  from  their  discom 
fiture,  and  presented  a  bold  and  defiant  front.  Then  com- 
'menced  a  two  years'  war  of  daring  deeds  and  fatal  results 
between  those  two  nations  of  fearless  warriors,  known  and  to 
be  known  to  them  alone.  The  creek,  dividing  that  portion 
of  their  territories  that  lay  contiguous  t6  the  place  where 
the  band  of  Chickasaws  were  slain  on  their  return  from 
Mobile,  now  in  the  northern  part  of  Oktibbiha  county,  Mis 
sissippi,  and  known  as  Line  Creek,  was  named  by  the  Choc 
taws,  after  the  two  years'  war,  Nusih  (sleep  or  slept,  Chiah, 
yau-yau  slept,  that  is,  you  were  taken  by  surprise)  in 
memorial  of  those  two  tragical  events,  the  surprise  and 
destruction  of  the  Chickasaw  warriors,  and  the  disquiet  and 


discomfiture  of  their  nation  at  the  unexpected  attack  upon 
them  by  the  Choctaws,  Nusih  Chia  has  been  erroneously 
interpreted  by  some  as  meaning-  "Where  acorns  abound." 
Nosi  aiasha — means  where  acorns  abound; 

The  killing"  of  this  little  band  of  Chickasaws  under  the 
circumstances,  together  with  that  of  being-  under  the  escort 
and  protection  of  the  French,  caused  the  Chickasaws  to  be 
lieve  it  was  done  throug-h  the  connivance  of  the  French,  and 
ever  afterwards  they  were  the  most  inveterate  and  uncom 
promising-  enemies  of  the  French,  among-  all  the  Indian 
tribes,  north  and  south,  except  the  Iroquois,  and  in  which, 
as  a  matter  of  course,  they  were  encouraged  by  the  Carolina 
traders  from  the  English  settlements. 

That  the  southern  Indians  were  friendly  to  their  foreig-n 
intruders  and  disposed  to  live  in  peace  with  them,  and  were 
not  such  a  bloodthirsty  people  as  they  have  been  repre 
sented,  is  clearly  demonstrated  by  the  fact  that,  in  1810 
there  was  such  a  scarcity  of  provisions,  that  Bienville  had  to 
scatter  his  men  among-  the  Indians  in  order  to  obtain  food 
for  them,  and  so  informed  his  g-overnment;  a  plan  to  which 
he  had  been  driven  before;  and  had  not  the  Indians  pre 
ferred  peace  to •  war  with  the  whites,  they  surely  would  have 
embraced  such  favorable  opportunities  to  destroy  the  un 
welcome  invader  of  their  country. 

In  1711,  throug-h  the  machinations  of  the  English,  who 
were  ever  ready  to  embrace  every  opportunity  to  enhance 
their  own  interests,  though  at  the  destruction  of  the  Indians', 
the  Choctaws  "end  Chickasaws,  were  ag-aiii  involved  in  a 
fratricidel  war,  at  fye  beginning  of  which,  there  was  a  little 
company  of  thirty  Chickasaw  warriors  instead  of  Choctaws, 
in  Mobile,  and  fearing-  to  return  home  throug-h  the  Choc  taw 
nation,  they  too  earnestly  requested  Bienville  to  send  a  com 
pany  of  his  soldiers  with  them  for  protection.  Bienville, 
seeing-  so  favorable  opportunity  of  winning-  the  friendship 
of  the  Chickasaws,  and  hoping-  thus  to  seduce  them  from 
their  alliance  to  the  English  to  that  of  the  French,  cheerfully 
complied  to  their  request  by  sending-  his  brother,  Cha- 
teaug-ne,  to  escort  them  through  the  Choctaw  nation,  which 
he  safely  did.  But  the  cause  and  result  of  this  war  have 
long-  since  paased  with  its  participants  into  the  silence  Of  the 
unknown  past. 

Charles  Gayarre  (Vol.  1,  p.  91)  says:  "In  1714  twelve 
English  men,  with  a  large  number  of  Muskog-ees,  came 
among-  the  Choctaws,  and  were  kindly  received  by  all  the 
towns  except  two,  who  fortified  themselves  and,  while  be- 
seig-ed  by  the  Muskogees,  one  night  made  their  escape  to 
Mobile."  From  the  above,  it  appears  that  the  visit  of  the 


twelve  Englishmen  to  the  Choctaws  was  attributed  to  an  in 
vitation  extended  to  them  by  a  Choctaw  chief;  since  in.  the 
following  year,  July  1715,  Bienville  sent  messengers  to  the 
Choctaws,  demanding  the  head  of  Outoct-chito"(a  corrup 
tion  of  his  true  name,  Oktak  (oketark)  (Prairie)  Chitoh  (Big 
or  Big  Prairie))  "who  had  persuaded  the  English  traders  to 
visit-  their  nation,  and  had  thereby  caused  to  be  driven  off 
the  inhabitants  of  two  Choctaw  towns,  who  were  still  in  Mo 
bile.  The  messengers  returned  to  Mobile  with  the  head  of 
the  unfortunate  Oktark  Chitoh,  which  had  been  stricken  off 
by  the  Choctaw  chiefs,  who  now  were  afraid  of  Bienville." 

How  different  the  Choctaws  then  from   what  they   were 
in  1696,  when  they  closed  their  interrogatories  to   him  with" 
the  bold  assertion,  "We  believe  our  white  brother  talks  with 
a  forked  tongue."     Alas!  how   rapidly  had  they  fallen  from  a 
state  of  perfect  independence  to  that  of  servile    dependence 
within  the  period  of  three  quarters  of  a  century;   the  dupes 
at  first,  only  to  become  the  abject  slaves  of  a  heartless  tyrant. 
Thus  did  the  rivalry  of  France  and  England  for  the   posses 
sion  of  the  North  American  continent,  encouraged  and   em 
boldened  by  their  national  jealousy  and  .innate  hatred   long 
cherished  each  for  the  other,  involve  the   deceived  Indians  in 
continued     war-fare  with   each     other,   as   their   respective 
traders  and  emissaries  throughout  the  length  and  breadth 
of   the  Indian  territories  to  contend  for  the  patronage  of  the 
Indians,   and  to  drive  each  the  other  from  thos    positionse 
where  they  had  established  themselves,  ultimately   to  end  in 
ruin  and  destruction    of  the    Indians.     But   the    Choctaws, 
though  reduced  to  such  servile   extremities  and   seemingly 
wholly  under  the  arbitrary  power  of  the  French,  were   still 
dreaded  by  many  of  the  neighboring  tribes,   and  even  by  the 
English  themselves..    As  an  illustration,  in  1727,  the  English, 
being  at  war  with  the  Spaniards,  used    every  means  in   their 
power  to  influence  the  Indians  to  make  war   upon  them,  and 
by  their  instigation  a  tribe,  then  known  as  Talapauches,  had 
laid  seige  to  Pensacola  (corrupted  from    the  Chahtah   words 
Puska,    bread,  and  Okla,  people,  Bread   People,  or   people 
having  bread);  but  Pirier,  who  had  succeeded  Bienville  in  the 
governorship  at  New  Orleans,  sent  word  to  the  Talapauches 
(corrupted  from  the  Choctaw  words  Tuli,  rock  or   iron,  and 
Poo-shi,  dust;  and  no  doubt  an  ancient  off-shoot  of   the  Choc 
taws)  to  return  to   their   homes  without  delay,  or   he   would 
put  the  Choctaws  after  them;  and  they  at  once  sought  their 
homes  with  much  more  alacrity  than  when  they  left   them. 
Such  was  the  dread  of  the  Choctaws  and  such   the  terror  in 
spired  by  their  name  alone. 

In  1733,  the  Choctaws,  as  allies  to  the  French,    engaged 


in  a  war  with  the  Natchez,  of  which  I  will  more  particularly 
notice  in  the  history  of  that  tribe. 

On  January  13th,  1733,  the  truly  Christian  philanthro 
pist,  Oglethorpe,  with  a  hundred  and  twenty  emigrants 
landed  at  Charleston,  South  Carolina.  ,  Afterwards  sailing 
down  the  coast,  he  anchored  his  vessel,  "Anne,"  for  a  few 
days  at  Beaufort,  while  he,  with  a  small  company  ascended 
the  Savannah  river  to  a  high  bluff  on  which  the  present  city 
of  Savannah.  Georgia,  now  stands,  which  he  selected  as  the 
place  for  the  establishment  of  his  little  colony.  And  there, 
February  1st,  1733,  he  laid  the  foundation  of  the  oldest  En 
glish  town  south  of  the  Savannah  river.  In  a  few  days  the 
great  chief  of  the  Yemacaws,  Tam-o-chi-chi,  called  upon  the 
strangers  who  had  thus  unceremoniously  taken  posession  of 
that  portion  of  of  his  people's  territories;  and  then  and  there 
two  congenial  spirits,  the  one  of  European,  the  other  of  an 
American,  first  met  and-  formed  a  friendship  each  for  the 
other  that  wras  never  broken;  and  at  the  departure  of  the 
venerable  old  man,  he  presented  to  Oglethorpe  a  magnificent 
buffalo  robe  upon  the  inside  of  which  was  painted  with  elabo 
rate  Indian  skill,  the  head  and  feathers  of  an  eagle,  and  said: 
"Accept  this  little  token  of  the  good  will  of  myself  and  peo 
ple.  See,  the  eagle  is  bold  and  fearless,  yet  his  feathers  are 
soft;  as  the  eagle,  so  are  my  people  bold  and  fearless  in  war; 
yet  as  his  feathers,  so  are  they  soft  and  beautiful  in  friend 
ship.  The  buffalo  is  strong,  and  his  hair  is  warm;  as  the 
buffalo,  so  are  my  people  strong  in  war;  yet,  as  his  robe, 
the}7  are  warm  in  love.  I  and  my  people  would  be  your 
friends,  beautiful  in  our  friendship  and  warm  in  our  love. 
Let  this  robe  be  the  emblem  of  friendship  and  love  between 
me  and  you,  and  mine  and  thine."  Oglethorpe  accepted  the 
present  with  its  tokens;  nor  was  the  purity  of  those  em 
blems  ever  tarnished  by  a  dishonorable  act  of  Tomochichi 
and  his  tribe  or  Oglethorpe  and  his  colony,  the  one  toward 
the  other. 

It  is  evident  that  the  Yamacaws  were  an  ancient  off 
shoot  of  the  Choctaws  from  the  similarity  of  their  language, 
habits  and  customs.  The  very  name  of  the  tribe  is  plainly  a 
corruption  of  the  Choctawr  words  yummakma  (that  one  also) 
Ka-sha-pah,  (to  be  a  part). 

Also  the  name  of  their  chief,  Tamochichi,  is  also  a  cor 
ruption  by  the  whites  of  the  Choctaw  words,  Tum-o-a-chi 
(wandering  away,  from  the  Choctaws  in  the  pre-historic  oj 
the  past). 

How  well  did  the  North  American  Indians  read  and 
comprehend  the  symbolic  language  of  Nature  in  all  its  dif 
ferent  phases  !  What  white  man,  whether  illiterate  or 


boasting-  the  comprehensive  genius  of  a  United  States  Colonel 
(Dodge)  who  was  enabled  to  discover  one  race  of  God's 
created  intelligences  (the  North  American  Indians)  to  be 
"absolutely  without  conscience,"  could  have  drawn  such 
grand  sentiments  from  a  buffalo  robe  and  a  bunch  of  eagle 
feathers,  since  "the  money  that  was  in  them"  would  have 
absorbed  every  other  consideration  of  his  soul!  Alas!  that 
"The  love  of  money"  should  so  engross  every  noble  faculty 
of  our  souls,  that  we  could  not,  or  would  not,  comprehend 
those  beautiful  symbols  found  in  nature,  on  earth  and  in 
heaven,  everywhere,  and  would  not,  or  did  not,  heed  them,  as 
they  call  with  their  ten  thousand  voices  to  jthe  discharge  of 
our  duty  to  the  Indians  and  plead  for  the  perfection  of  the 
character  of  both  the  red  and  white  race,  as  illustrated  in 
those  grand  sentiments  of  the  no  less  grand  old  chief  of  the 
Yummak  ma  kashapas.  "I  and  my  people  would  be  your 
friends,  beautiful  in  our  friendship  and  warm  in  our  love!" 
How  sad !  how  humiliating*  the  reflection  that,  during*  four 
centuries,  the  North  American  Indians  have  found  no  re 
sponsive  sentiment  in  the  White  Race,  except  in  Penn  and 
his  followers,  Oglethorpe  and  his  colony,  the  self-sacrificing* 
missionaries  and  a  few  noble  philanthropists,  thoug-h  the 
same  earnest  and  sincere  plea  was  heard  from  the  mouths 
of  every  tribe,  when  first  visited  by  the  whites,  echoing-  from 
the  Atlantic's  stormy  shores  in  the  east  to  the  Pacific's  rock- 
bound  coast  in  the  distant  west,  "I  and  my  people  would  be 
your  friends,  beautiful  in  our  friendship  "and  warm  in  our 
love;"  but  only  to  fall  upon  the 'ear  of  our  avarice  as  a  tink 
ling  cymbal,  since  deaf  to  all  else  but  the  gratification  of  our 
love  of  greedy  gain,  (that  stranger  to  truth  and  justice,  and 
untouched  by  any  emotion  of  humanity)  which  demanded 
the  extermination  of  the  Indians,  as  the  onlv  guarantee  to 
sure  possession  of  their  country  and  homes  ;  and  then  called 
for  obloquy  to  cover  their  memory  as  an  honorable  justifica 
tion  for  that  extermination.  And  though  Nature,  every 
where  in  all  its  phases  from  the  finite  to  the  infinite,  and  the 
infinitesimal  to  the  grand  aggregate  of  knowledge,  is  full  of 
instruction,  by  which  she  would  teach  us  our  duty  to  God, 
our  fellow-men,  and  to  ourselves,  yet  we  heeded  not  the 
symbolic  whispers  of  her  low,  sweet  plaintive  voice  pleading 
in  behalf  of  the  Red  Race;  and  in  so  doing,  forfeited  a  privf- 
lege  that  heaven's  angels  would  have  embraced  with  eager 
ness  and  joy,  for  the  gratification  of  our  frenzied  avarice. 
On  the  29th  of  May  following,  Oglethorre  held  a  council 
with  the  Muscogees  at  Savannah;  for  whom  and  all  their 
allies,  Long  Chief  of  the  Ocona  clan  of  Muscogees  spoke 
.and  welcomed  Oglethorpe  and  his  tittle  colony  to  their  coun- 


,  try  in  the  name  of  peace  and  friendship  by  presenting-  to 
him  large  bundles  of  the  skins  and  furs  of  wild  animals  in 
which  their  territories  then  abounded.  And  soon  so  great 
and  wide  extended  became  the  fame  of  Oglethorpe  and  'his 
followers  as  true  and  sincere  friends  to  the  Indian  race,  that 
the  chiefs  of  the  Cherokees,  from  their  distant  mountain 
homes,  came  to  see  and  confer  with  Oglethorpe  and  his 
colony,  to  them  a  prodigy,  a  white  man  and  great  chief  and 
yet  a  true  man  to  his  word  pledged  to  an  Indian.  Naught  like 
this  had  been  known  since  the  days  of  Penn  and  his  Quakers. 
Was  the  bright  morn  of  a  glorious  future  about  to  dawn  upon 
their  race  dispelling  the  long  night  of  darkness  that  had  for 
ages  obscured  their  moral  and  intellectual  vision?  Was  the 
White  Race  truly  to  prove  their  benefactor,  once  so  brightly 
shadowed  forth  in  the  precepts  and  practice  of  the  noble 
Penn  and  his  colony?  Indeed  it  appeared  as^the  second 
dawn  of  hope;  but  alas,  only  to  nicker  a  moment  as  the  feeble 
and  expiring  taper,  and  then  to  go  out  to  be  seen  no  more,  an 
illusive  dream  even  as  the  first  had  proven  to  be. 

In  August,  1739,  a  great  council  was  convened  at  Coweta 
in  the  Muscogee  Nation  by  Oglethorpe,  the  Indians'  undevi- 
ating  friend,  in  which  the  Muscogees,  Choctaws,  Chicka- 
saws,  Cherokees,  Yummakmakashapahs  and  many  others 
were  represented,  and  in  peace  and  harmony  equally  par 
ticipated.  The  faithful  and  honest  old  Tumoachi  stood 
among  the  most  conspicuous  of  the  various  and  distinguished 
chiefs.  Coweta  was,  at  that  time,  one  of  the  larg-e'st  towns 
of  the  Muscogee  Nation,  and  many  days'  travel  froin  Savan 
nah  through  the  deep  solitudes  of  a  vast  wilderness,  un 
trodden  by  the  foot  of  a  white  man  since  the  days  of  De  Soto's 
march,  two  hundred  years  before;  but  through  which  Ogle 
thorpe  and  his  little  band  of  followers  fearlessly  and  safely 
traveled,  to  fulfill  his  engagement  with  the  unknown  Indians 
there  in  council  to  assemble.  When  it  was  learned  that  he 
had  arrived  near  Coweta,  a  deputation  of  chiefs,  representa 
tives  of  the  respective  tribes  assembled,  met  and  escorted 
him  to  the  town  with  unfeigned  manifestations  of  pride  and 
joy.  The  next  day  the  council  convened,  and  remained  in 
session  several  days,  during  which  stipulations  of  peace 
and  friendship  were  ratified,  and  free  trade  and  friendly 
intercourse  to  all  established,  to  the  mutual  satisfaction 
and  delight  of  both  red  and  white;  after  which  the  Grand 
Finale  was  performed,  the  solemn  ceremonv  of  drinking  the 
"Black  drink,'.'  and  smoking  the  Pipe  of*  Peace;  in  all  of 
vyhich  the  noble  Oglethorpe  participated,  to  the  great  de 
light  and  satisfaction  of  the  admiring  Indians;  then,  after  the 
closing  ceremony  of  bidding  adieu,  all  to  their  respective 


"homes  returned  delighted  with  the  happy  results  of  the  coun 
cil.  Oglethorpe  was  ever  afterwards  held  in  grateful  remem 
brance,  and  loved  and  honored  by  all  the  southern  Indians; 
and  was  known  everywhere  as  the  Indians'  friend,  and 
everywhere  regarded  and  received  as  such  with  implicit 
confidence.  How  so?  Because  he  was  never  known  to 
wrong  them  in  a  single  instance;  therefore  their  admiration 
.and  confidence  for  and  in  him  had  no  limits. 

The  morn  of  the  southern  Indians'  Christian  era,  as 
professed  by  the  Protestant  world,  dawned,  according  to  an 
cient  Choctaw  tradition,  at  the  advent  of  Oglethorpe  to  this, 
continent  and  the  establishment  of  his  colony  on  the  banks 
•of  the  Savannah;  and  was  heralded  by  the  two  brothers  who 
so  justly  rank  among  earth's  illustrious  modern  great  as 
preachers  of  the  Gospel  of  the  Son  of  God;  viz:  John  and 
Charles  Wesley,  who  came  with  Og'lethorpe  in  1733,  and  ac 
companied  him  to  his  councils  with  the  Indians,  and  there 
preached  the  glad  tidings  of  "Peace  and  Good  will  toward 
men."  Shortly  after,  John  Wesley  influenced  the  renowned 
preacher,  George  Whitfield,  to  also  come  to  America.  In  a 
letter  to  Whitfield,  John  Wesley  thus  wrote:  "Do  you  ask 
what  you  shall  have?  Food  to  eat,  raiment  to  wear,  a  house 
in  which  to  lay  your  head  such  as  your  Lord  had  not,  and  a 
crown  of  glory  that  fadeth  not  away."  Upon  the  reception 
of  which,  Whitiield  said  his  heart  echoed  to  the  call,  and  to 
which  he  at  once  responded;  and  upon  the  return  of  the 
Wesleys  to  England,  he  says  in  his  journal.  "I  must  labor 
most  heartily  since  I  came  after  such  worthy  predecessors." 

In  1734,  Tumoahchi,  with  his  wife  and  son  and  seven 
Muscogee  warriors  accompanied  Oglethorpe  to  George  II. 
and  before  whom  Tumoahchi  made  a  speech  in  that  shrewd 
and  captivating  manner  so  characteristic  of  the  North  Ameri 
can  Indians;  which  so  pleased  the  king  that  he  caused  the 
American  chief  and  warriors  to  be  loaded  with  presents  and 
even  sent  him  and  his  wife  and  son  in  one  of  the  royal  carria 
ges  to  Grovesend  when  he  embarked  to.Yeturn  to  his  native 
forest  home.  Shortly  after  his  return  home,  the  noble  old 
chief  was  taken  sick,  ancl  was  at  once  visited  by  W^hitfield, 
who  says:  "He  now  lay  on  a  Blanket,  thin  and  meager,  little 
else  but  skin  and  bones.  Senanki,  his  wife,  sat  by  fanning 
him  with  Indian  feathers.  There  was  no  one  who  could  talk 
English,  so  I  could  only  shake  hands  with  him  and  leave 
him."  In  a  few  days  after,  Whitfield  returned  to  -the  couch 
of  the  dying  chief  and  was  rejoiced  to  find  Tooanoowe,  a 
nephew  of  Tumoahchi  present,  who  could  speak  English. 
"I  requested  him,"  says  Whitfield,  "to  ask  his  uncle  whether 
he  thought  he  should  die?  He  answered' 'I  cannot  tell.'  I 


then  asked  where  he  thought  he  would  go  after  death?  He 
replied,  'to  heaven.'  But,  alas,  how  can  drunkards  enter- 
there?  I  then  exhorted  Tooanoowe,  who  is  a  tall,  proper 
youth,  not  to  get  drunk,  telling-  him  that  he  understood^Eng- 
lish,'and  therefore  would  be  punished  the  more  if  he  did  not 
live  better.  I  then  asked  him  whether  he  believed  in  a 
heaven,  'yes,'  said  he.  I  then  asked  whether  he  believed  in  a 
hell,  and  described  it  by  pointing  to  the  fire  He  replied,  'No.' 
From  whence  we  may  easily  gather  how  natural  it  is  to  all 
man-kind  to  believe  there  is  a  place  of  happiness,  because 
they  wish  it  to  be  so;  and  on  the  contrary,  how  averse  they 
are  to  believe  in  a  place  of  torment  because  they  wish  it  not  to 
be  so."  But  if  the  poor,  unlettered,  yet,  generous  and  noble 
hearted  Tumoahchi,  who  knew  nothing  of  the  sin  of  drunk- 
eness,  was  unfit  for  heaven  because  "how  can  a  drunkard 
enter  there"?  How  unfit  must  be  he  who  made  him  such,  by 
making  the  whiskey,  then  taking  it  thousands  of  miles  to  the' 
before  temperate  Indian  and  teaching  him  to  drink  it!  and 
how  inconsistent  with  reason  and  common  sense,  and  how 
insulting  to  the  God  of  -justice  it  must  be,  for  us  to  call  our 
selves  Christians  and  the  Indians  savages!  And  if  Tooanoo 
we  "would  be,  punished  the  more  if  he  did  not  live  better," 
since  "he  understood  English"  a  little,  what  will  be  the  fate 
of  us  whose  native  tongue  in  English,  and  who,  with  all  our 
boasted  attainments,  led,  influenced  and  taught  them  to 
adopt  and  practice,  by  precept  and  example,  our  "civilized" 
vices,  but  seldom  instructed  them  in  the  virtues  of  the  reli 
gion  of  the  Bible!  Does  not  the  just  and  merciful  Redeemer 
of  the  world  of  man-kind  regard  with  much  less  approbation 
all  external  professions  and  appearances,  than  do  thousands 
of  his  professedjollowers  found  among  our  own  White  Race? 
Did  he  not  prefer  the  despised  but  charitable  Samaritan  to 
the  uncharitable  but  professed  orthodox  priest?  And  does 
He  not  declare  that^hose  who  gave  food  to  the  hungry,  enter 
tainment  to  the  stranger,  relief  to  the  sick,  and  had  charity 
(all  of  which  are  to-day,  and  ever  have  been,  from  their 
earliest  known  history,  the  noted  characteristics  of  the 
North  American  Indians,  though  they  never  heard  of  the 
name  of  Jesus)  shall  in  the  last  day  be  accepted?  When 
those  who  boisterously  shout  Lord!  Lord,  valuing  themselves 
upon,  their  profess-ed  faith,  though  sufficient  to  perform 
miracles,  but  have  neglected  good  works  shall  be  rejected. 
And  though  we  have  scarcely  permitted  the  Indians,  though 
starving  and  pleading  for  moral,  intellectual  and  spiritual 
food,  to  pick  up  the  crumbs  that  fell  from  our  tables  loaded 
with  professed  virtues,  yet  we  have  displayed  a  wonderful 
talent  in  traducing  them  and  manifest  a  strange  desire  that. 


they  should  be  falsely  handed  down  to  posterity  as 
not"  embraced   in  the  Hat  of   Him  who   said    "Let 

us   make 

Never  did  a  North  American  Indian  acknowledge  that 
he  recognized  in  the  white  man  a  master;  nor  was  ever  an 
emotion  of  inferiority  to  the  white  man  experienced-  by  an 
Indian.  Nearly  four  centuries  of  unceasing  effort  by  the 
White  Race  have  utterly  failed  to  make  the  Indian  even  feel, 
much  less  acknowledge,  the  white  man  as  master. 

In  1741,  Bienville  was  superseded  by  Marquis  de  Van- 
dreuil,  to  whom  the  Chickasaws  sent  a  delegation  to  New 
Orleans  to  treat  for  peace.  But  Vandreuil  refused  to  treat 
unless  the  Choctaws,  allies  of  the  French,  were  made  parties 
to  the  treaty.  The  Chickasaws  then  made  an  effort  to  in 
duce  the  Chocta'ws  to  form  an  alliance  with  them,  supported 
by  the  English,  against  the  French.  But  their  design  was 
discovered  and  thwarted  by  the  secret  intriguing  of  Van- 
.dreuil  with  Shulush  Hum  ma,  (Red  Shoe),  then  a  noted  Choc- 
taw  chief  and  shrewd  diplomatist,  and  belonging  to  the  clan 
called  Okla  Hunnali,  (Six  People  and  living  in  the  present 
Jasper  county,  Mississippi,  who  had  been  favorably  disposed 
toward  the  English  for  several  years;  and  finally,  in  1745, 
through  personal  interest  alone  it  was  thought,  he  went  over 
to  the  English;  and,  at  the  same  time,  innuencing'a  .chief  of 
the  Mobelans  (properly,  Moma  Binah,  or  Mobinah,  a  clan  of 
the  ancient  Choctaws)  to  do  the  same  with  his  warriors,  and 
also  some  of  the  Muscogees,  all  of  whom  were,  at  that  time, 
allies  of  the  French.  Shortly  after,  Vandreuil  went  from 
New  Orleans  to  Mobile,  and  there  met  twelve  hundred  Choc- 
taw  warriors  in  council  assembled,  with  whom  he  made  re 
newed  pledges  of  friendship  bestowing  upon  them  many 
presents  of  various  kinds.  But  Shulush  Humma  stood  "aloof 
and  refused  to  participate  in  anv  of  the  proceedings;  and  to 
place  beyond  all  doubt  the  position  he  occupied,  he,  a  few 
weeks  after,  slew  a  French  officer  and  two  French  traders, 
who  unfortunate  ventured  into  his  village. 

Thus  the  Choctaws  were  divided  into  two  factions;  at 
first  peaceable,  but  which  finally  culminated  into  actual  civil 
war  through  the  instigations  and  machinations  of  both  the 
French  and  English.  And  thus  the  Chickasaws  and  the 
Choctaws,  blinded  to  their  own  national  interests,  were  led 
to  destroy  each  other,  the  one  in  behalf  of  the  English  and 
the  other  of  the  French;  while  both  the  English  and  French 
under  an  assumed  friendship,  used  them  as  instruments 
-alone  to  forward  their  own  selfish  designs  and  self-in 
terests,  though  to  the  destruction  of  both  the  misguided 
'Choctaws  and  Chickasaws.  Truly  misfortune  seems  to 


have  set  her  fatal  seal  upon  the  North  American  Indians,  and' 
doomed  them  to  eternal  misery  while  upon  earth,  in  contend 
ing-  with  the  White  Race  for  the  right  to  live  and  enjoy  life 
with  the  rest  of  mankind.  Unhappy  race!  What  heart  so- 
lost  to  every  emotion  of  sympathy  but  weeps  at  the  re 
hearsal  of  your  woes! 

In  1750,  still  infatuated  with  the  belief  that  the  White 
Race  sought  their  interests,  the  Choctaws  still  remained  in 
two  hostile  factions,  thirty  of  their  villages  adhering-  to  the 
French,  and  only  two  to  the  English,  who,  in  a  terrible  bat 
tle  which  ensued,  had  one  hundred  and  thirty  of  their  war 
riors  slain,  and  soon  after,  were  ag-ain  defeated  by  the 
French,  with  a  party  of  Choctaws,  and  compelled  to  sue  for 
peace,  while  the  English  stood  aloof  and  left  them  to  fight 
alone  ag-ainst  fearful  odds,  thoug-h  their  accepted  friends. 

Three  years  after  (1753),  De  Vandreuil  was  succeeded 
by  Kerleree,  who,  in  one  of  his  dispatches,  thus  spoke  of  the 
Choctaws:  "I  am  satisfied  with  them.  They  are  true  to 
their  plighted  faith.  But  we  must  be  the  same  in  our  trans 
actions  with  them.  They  are  men  who  reflect,  and  who 
have  more  logic  and  precision  in  their  reasoning  than  is. sup 

How  true  it  is,  that  the  above  assertion  of  Kerleree,  in 
regard  to  the  Choctaws,  may  be  as  truthfully  affirmed  of  the 
entire  North  American  Indian  race.  And~  had  that  truth 
been  admitted  and  acted  upon  by  the-White  Race  in  all  their 
dealings  with  the  Red  Race  from  first  to  last,  the  bloody 
charges  that  to-day  stand  recorded  against  us  in  the  volume 
of  truth  would  not  have  been  written. 

November  3rd,  1762,  the  -King '  of  France  ceded  to  the 
King  of  Spain  his  entire  possessions  in  North  America 
known  under  the  name  of  Louisiana;  and  at  which  time,  a 
treaty  of  peace  was  signed  between  the  Kings  of  Spain  and 
France  of  the  one  party,  and  the  King  of  England  of  the 
other,  by  which  France  was  stripped  of  all  her  vast  landed 
possessions  to  which  she  had  so  long  and  tenaciously  laid 
claim  at  the  useless  and  cruel  destruction  of  thousands  of 
helpless  Indians  who  alone  held  the  only  true  and  just  claim. 
When  the  Indians  learned  of  this  treaty  of  cession,  and  were 
told  that  they  had  been  transferred  from  the  jurisdiction  of 
the  French  to  that  of  the  English,  whom  they  feared  and 
dreaded  ten  fold  more  than  they  did  the  French,  they  were 
greatly  excited  at  the  outrage,  as  they  rightly  termed  it;  and 
justly  affirmed  that  the  French  possessed  no  authority  over 
them  by  which  to  transfer  them  over  to  the  English,  as  if 
they  were  but  so  many  horses  and  cattle.  Truly,  as  human 
beings,  as  a  free  and  independent  people  and  as  reasoning 


men,  how  could  they  but  feel  the  degradation  of  being-  thus 
bartered  away  as  .common  chattels,  and  feel  the  deep  humi 
liation  that  followed  the  loss  of  their  national  character  and 
national  rights.  Yet,  how  little  did  they  imagine  the  still 
deeper  humiliation,  degradation  and  woe  that  were  in  store 
for  their  race!  How  little  did  they  believe  that  they  were 
soon  to  be  driven  away  by  merciless  intruders,  from  their 
ancient  and  justly  owned  'possessions  and  the  cherished 
graves  of  their  Ancestors,  to  wander,  they  knew  not  where, 
in  the  vain  search  of  a  pity  and  commiseration,  never  to  be 
found  among  their  heartless  oppressors  and  conquerors! 
Alas!  how  else  but  broken-hearted  can  the  surviving  little 
remnant  be,  when  no  words  of  consolation  and  hope  ever 
greet  their  ears !  How  can  they  be  industrious  when  that 
industry  but  brings  them  in  contact  with  the  authors  of  all 
their  misfortunes  and  woes !  How  can  they  forget  their 
wrongs  and  sow,  unless  it  be  to  sow  dragon's  teeth  with 
the  hope  that  warriors  might  spring  up  to  avenge  their  blood., 
that  vengeance  justly  claimed  !  Did  they  not  in  all  sincerity 
believe  themselves  wrongfully  oppressed?  which  they  truly 
were;  and  in  resisting  that  oppression,  did  they  do  more 
than  any  other  Nation,  under  similar  circumstances,  has 
done  and  will  ever  do,  that  claims  the  right  to  exist  as  a 
Nation?  They  contended  for  that  which  they  honestly  be 
lieved  to  be  their  birthright,  and  it  was,  both  by  the  laws  of 
God  and  man.  Could  they  have  done  otherwise,  when  they 
desired  and  sought  our  civilization  and  Christianity ;  but  we 
would  grant  it  to  them  only  upon  the  terms  of  yielding  up  to 
us  their  country,  their  nationality,  their  freedom,  their 
honor,  their  all  that  makes  life  worth  living?  Have  we  not 
treated  them  from  first  to  last  as  inferior  beings,  and  in  our 
bigoted  egotism  scorned  them  and  pushed  them  from  us  as 
creatures  below  our  notice?  Can  we  establish  a  just  plea 
upon  the  broad  foundation  of  truth  to  sustain  the  right  to 
treat  them  as  we  have  treated  them,  take  their  country  from 
them  by  the  strength  of  arbitrary  power,  and  call  it  honor 
able  purchase,  and  then  annoy  them  by  reiterated  extortions 
and  oppress  them  to  extermination? 

In  November,  1763,  the  Choctaws,  Chickasa\YS,  Chero- 
kees,  and  Muscogees  were,  through  their  representative- 
chiefs,  assembled  in  council  at  Augusta,  Georgia,  with  the 
representative  Governors  of  Virginia,  North  and  South  Car 
olina,  and  Georgia.  But  two  years  later,  August,  1765,  the 
Choctaws  and  Muscogees — inveterate  enemies — commenced 
a  fearful  and  devastating  war,  which,  acordingto  their  tradi 
tions,  continued  six  years  with  unabated  hostility;  and  dur 
ing  which  many  battles  were  fought  and  heavy  losses  sus- 


tained  on  both  sides,  yet  each  displaying-  the  most  undaunted 
and  heroic  bravery.  But  as  they  had  no  native  historians, 
the  cause,  the  progress,  the  successes,  the  defeats,  as  Dame 
Fortune  alternately  bestowed  her  favors  upon  the  one  and 
the  other,  will  never  be  known;  for  the  long-  period  of  those 
six  years  of  bloody  strife  is  wrapt  in  the  silence  of  the  un 
known  past,  and  all  that  now  may  be  written  is  contained  in 
"They  lived;  they  foug-ht."  Nor  has  much  more  been  re 
corded  concerning  the  vicissitudes  of  the  North  American 
Indian  race,  by  their  white  historians;  thoug-h  "they  killed, 
they  robbed"  is  but  a  counterpart  of  the  mutations  of  the 
White  Race  also. 

k  .  Be  it  as  it  may,  we  find  the  Choctaw  people,  amid  all  their 
vicissitudes  and  misfortunes,  occupying-,  all  along-  the  line  of 
their  kno\yn  history,  a  prominent  place  as  one  of  the  five  great 
southern  tribes,  who  have  been  justly  regarded  as  being-  the 
most  to  be  dreaded  in  war  of  all  the  North  American  Indians, 
for  their  skill  and  invincible  bravery;  and  the  most  to  be  ad 
mired  in  peace  for  the  purity  of  their  friendship  and  fidelity 
to  truth.  And  to  compare  the  present  enfeebled,  oppressed", 
broken-hearted,  down  trodden,  the  still  surviving-  little  rem 
nant,  to  their  heroic,  free,  independent,  and  justly  proud 
ancestors  of  two  centuries  ag-o,  or  even  less  than  one  cen 
tury  ago,  is  to  compare  the  feeble  light  of  the  crescent  moon 
lingering  upon  the  western  horizon  to  the  blaze  of  the  sun  in 
the  zenith  of  its  power  and  glory.  But  what  has  wrought 
the  fearful  change?  Who  hurled  them  from  their  once  high 
and  happy  state  down  to  this  low  and  wretched  state  of 
humiliation  and  slavery?  Truth  points  its  unerring  finger  to 
these  LJnited  States,  and  says  as  he  to  Israel's  ancient  king, 
"Thou  art  the  man."  What  the  difference?  None  in  princi 
ple.  The  one,  Israel's  king,  a  murderer,  to  gratify  a  beastly 
lust;  the  other,  America's  people,  tyrant,  to  gratify  a  beastly 
avarice.  And  yet  we  claim  to  advocate  the  right  of  freedom 
and  self  government  to  all  nations  of  people;  and  boldly  hurl 
our  anathemas  against  the  iron  heel  of  England's  oppression 
of  Ireland,  and  curse  the  greedy  avarice  of  a  heartless  and 
grasping  landlordism  that  for  years  has  sapped  the  vitals  of 
that  unfortunate  country  and  broken  the  spirit  of  its  noble 
people;  while  we  are  guilty  of  the  same  greedy  avarice  that 
has  broken  the  spirit  of  as  noble  a  people  as.  ever  lived;-  and 
against  whom  we  have  exercised  the  aggressive  tyranny,  and 
made  it  a  point  to  preserve  towards  them  an  attitude  the 
most  commanding  and  supercilious,  and  against  whom  we  have 
long  cherished  and  still  cherish  the  basest  and  most  unjust 
prejudice.  Alas,  how  inconsistent  are  we. 

Many   other  tribes  living   in  the  same  regions  are   men- 


tioned  by  the  earhr  writers,  but  who,  in  comparison  to  num 
bers  and  prominence  as  a  people,  fell  far  below  the  Choctaws, 
Chickasaws,  Cherokees,  Muscogees,  Seminoles  and  Natchez; 
though  it  is  reasonable  to  conclude  that  many  of  them  were 
offshoots  of  the  above  mentioned.  But  the  cruel  and  bloody 
scenes  that  marked  the  conflicts  of  the  whites  with  the  brave 
warriors  of  these  five  nations  of  the  North  American  Indians, 
before  they  overpowered  them  by  superiority  in  numbers, 
skill  and  weapons  of  warfare  and  drove  them  from  their 
•ancient  homes  under  the  false  plea  of  "fair  and  honorable 
purchase,"  scattering  along  the  whole  line  of  their  known 
history,  fraud,  dissimulation,  oppression,  destruction  and 
death,  clothe  the  character  of  this  wonderful  people  in  the 
wildest  romance  and  truly  render  them  worthy  heroes  "of 
fable  and  song;  of  whom  it  may  truly  be  said  that,  in  point  of 
numbers;  in  the  magnitude  and  grandeur  of  their  territories 
abounding  in  every  variety  of  game  that  could  render  them 
truly  the  paradise  of  the  Indian  hunter;  in  their  far  sighted 
sagacity;  in  their  peculiar  native  eloquence;  in  their  legends 
and  traditions  handed  down  from  generation  to  generation 
through  cycles  of  ages  unknown;  in  their  strange  and  mys 
terious  religious  rites  and  ceremonies;  in  all  that  strange 
and  peculiar  phenomena,  that  stamp  the  true  Native  Ameri 
cans  as  the  independent  aud  fearless  sons  of  the  forest,  un 
surpassed  in  daring  and  heroic  deeds  in  defense  of  their 
country,  the  Choctaws,  Chickasaws,  Cherokees,  Muscogees, 
Seminoles  and  Natchez  stand  unsurpassed  by  any  other  of 
the  North  American  Indians,  or  any  other  unlettered  race  of 
people  on  earth. 

Pickett,  in  his  History  of  Alabama  states:  "In  1771,  the 
eastern  district  of  the  Choctaw  Nation  was  known  as  Oy-pat- 
oo-coo-la,  signifying  the  'Small  Nation;'  and  the  western  dis 
trict  was  called  Oo-coo-la  Falaya,  Oo-coo-la  Hanete  and 
Chickasaha,"  The  four  names  are  fair  samples  of  the  mis 
erable  corruption  of  the  languages- of  the  North  American 
Indians  every  where,  by  the  whites. 

And  in  the  above,  Pickett  is  greatly  in  error  in  the  word 
Oy-pat-oo-coo-la  signifying  "Small  Nation,"  if  he  uses  it  as 
a  Choctaw  or  Chickasaw  word.  In  the  first  place  there  is  110 
such  word  in  either  of  their  languages,  and  even  admitting 
there  is,  it  cannot  signify  "small  nation."  The  words  of 
both  for  small  nation  are  Iskitini  Pehlichika,  small  nation  or 
kingdom.  "And  the  western  district  was  called  Oo-coo-la 
Falaya,  and  Oo-coo-la  Hanete  and  Chickasaha."  It  is  evident 
also  that  these  three  names  are  corruptions  from  Choctaw 
words.  The  first  being  a  corruption  of  the  words  Okla 


Falaiah,  Tall  People;  the  second,    "Oo-coo-la  Hanete,"   from 
Okla  Hunnali,  People  Six,  or  Six' People. 

The  third,  Chickasaha,  from  Chikasah,  Rebellion,  all  of 
which  were  names  of  different  clans  of  the  ancient  Choctaws. 
There  was  also  an  ancient  clan  named  Okla  Jsskitmi,  People 
Small,  or  Small  People,  which,  no  doubt,  was  corrupted  to 
Oy-pat-oo-coo-la;  if  not,  some  linguist,  other  than  a  Choctaw, 
or  Chickasaw,  will  have  to  give  its  signification. 

Alas;  If  the  errors  of  our  race  were  confined  alone  to 
the  orthography,  orthoepy  and  signification  of  various  In 
dian  languages,  though  as  inconsistent  and  absurd  as  .they 
are  in  that  of  the  Choctaw,  we  might  be  excusable;  but 
when  they  enter  into  every  department  of  our  dealings  with 
that  people,  there  can  be  no  excuse  whatever  offered  in  justi 
fication  of  them. 

See  the  gross  errors  set  forth  in  the  publications  re 
garding  the  Indians  from  first  to  last,  clothed  in  scarcely  a 
word  of  truth  to  hide  their  hideous  deformity,  so  humiliat 
ing  to  justice,  and  all  in  direct  opposition  to  known  truth 
and  common  sense.  The  newspapers  and  periodicals  of  the 
present  day  are  full  of  the  same  old  stereotyped  edition  of 
vile  calumniations  and  base  falsehoods  against  that  helpless 
people,  the  latter  of  which  stand  in  close  and  worthy  prox 
imity  to  that  of  the  devil's  to  the  mother  Eve.  Even  that 
class  of  literature  devoted  to  the  instruction  af  the  young, 
books  and  papers  bearing  the  title  of  "School  History  of 
the  United  States,"  "Youth's  Companion,"  etc.,  are  contami 
nated  with  falsehoods  and  defamatory  articles  against  the 
Indians;  the  writers  of:  which  seem  determined  that  the 
memory  of  the  North  American  Indians  MUST  and  SHALL  de 
scend  from  generation  to  generation  to  the  one  which  shall 
be  the  fortunate  one  to  hear  the  tones  of  Gabriel's  mighty 
trumpet  sounding  a  truce  to  longer  defamation  of  the  Red 
Race;  and  thus  escape  the  nauseating  dose  which  its  prede 
cessors  bave  been  forced  to  swallow;  and  though  justice 
calls  upon  these  white  slanderers  of  the  Red  Race  to  turn 
their  attention  from  the  arduous  labor  attending  the  suc 
cessful  finding  of  a  few  defects  in  the  Indians,  to  the  correc 
tion  of  the  hideous  sins  of  their  own  race,  yet  they  heed  not 
her  voice. 

Before  me  lies  a  book  bearing  the  title,  "School  History 
of  the  United  States,"  under  the  signature  of  "W.  H.  Ven- 
able."  by  which  its  author  would  stuff  the  minds  of  the 
present  generation,  and  those  to  follow,  with  the  false  asser 
tions  and  self-imagined  erudition,  in  which  he  has  displayed 
as  much  knowledge  of  the  North  American  Indians  as  might 
reasonably  be  expected  to  be  found  in  a  Brazilian  monkey  if 


writing-  its  views  upon  the  characteristics  of  the  Laplanders 
in  their  icy  homes.  On  page  17  of  this  so-called  "Illumina 
tion  of  the  Youthful  Mind,"  in  the  matter  of  Indian  charac 
teristics,  is  found  the  following1  absurdities:  "The  Ameri 
can  Indians  were  fit  inhabitants  of  the  wilderness.  Children 
of  nature,  they  were  akin  to  all  that  is  rude,  savage,  and 
irredeemable.  Their  number  within  the  limits  of  what  is 
now  the  United  States  was  at  110  time,  since  the  discovery  of 
America,  above  four  hundred  thousand  individuals,  for  the 
Indian,  hopelessly  unchanging  in  respect  to  individual  and 
social  development,  was  as  regarded  tribal  relations  and 
local  haunts,  mutable  as  the  wind." 

"Where  ignorance  is  bliss,   'tis  folly  to  be   wise,"  there 
fore  his  "Ipse  dixit." 

Again,  (page  19)  he  affirms:  "Stratagem,  surprise,  and 
the  basest  treacherv  were  approved  and  practiced  even  by 
the  bravest."  But  what  of  the  White  Race?  Did  not  Wash 
ington  and  his  generals  "approve  and  practice  deception, 
surprise  and  stratagem"  upon  the  British  in  fighting  for  the. 
independence  of  these  United  States?  Did  not  Oglethorpe 
"approve  and  practice  stratagem  and  deception"  upon  the 
Spanish  fleet,  when  he  gave  a  Spanish  prisoner  his  liberty  if 
he  would  deliver  a  letter  to  one  of  his  own  men  who  .had 
deserted  and  fled  to  the  Spanish  ships,  the  particulars  of 
which  are  too  well  known  to  be  repeated  here?  Did  not  Lee 
and  Grant,  yea,  every  officer  from  general  down  to  captain, 
"approve  and  practice  stratagem,  deception  and  surprise," 
during  our  Civil  war?  and  when  an  advantage,  by  these 
means,  was  gained,  was  it  not  acknowledged  as  a  grand  dis 
play  of  superior  generalship  and  dubbed  "Military  Skill?" 
When  "practiced  and  approved"  by  the  whites,  they  are 
virtues;  but  when  by  the  Indians,  in  their  wars  of  resistance 
against  our  oppression  and  avarice,  they  at  once  become 
odious  characteristics.  But  when  and  upon  whom,  did  the 
Indians  approve  and  practice  stratagem,  surprise  and  the 
basest  treachery?  alone  upon  their  enemies  in  war;  never 
elsewhere.  But  we  have  alike  "approved  and  practiced 
stratagem  and  surprise"  in  our  wars  with  them  always,  and 
everywhere;  and  have,  in  numerous  instances,  approved 
and  practiced  the  basest  treachery,"  upon  them  by  false 
promises,  misrepresentations  and  absolute  falsehoods  of 
such  hideous  proportions  as  to  cause  the  devil  to  blush  at 
his^own  impotency  in  the  art,  when  trying  to  influence  them 
to  enter  into  treaties  with  us  by  which  we  would  secure  for 
ourselves  their  landed  possessions,  and  all  under  the  dis 
guise  of  declared  disinterested  friendship,  and  deep-felt 
interest  in  their  prosperity  and  happiness;  and  I  challenge 


anyone  to  successfully  refute  the  charge.  Yet  this  man 
would  contribute  his  mite  of  misrepresentation  and  false 
hood  to  assist  others  of  his  own  congeniality,  to  hand  down 
the  Indians  to  the  remotest  posterity  as  a  race  of  people  the 
most  infamous;  but  would  have  it  remembered  that  he  and 
hjs  fall  below  their  merits — the  white  "children  of  the 
Uord."  \ 

Therefore,  he  thus  continues  his  lecture  to  the  children, 
as  set  forth  in  his  ephemeral  history:  "Language  cannot 
exaggerate  the  ferocity  of  an  Indian  Battle,  or  the  revolting 
cruelty  practiced  upon  their  captives  of  war."  Surely  this 
sensitive  educator  of  the  young,  never  perused  that  truthful 
little  volume,  bearing  the  name  of  "Our  Indian  Wards"  as 
written  by  a  Christian  philanthropist,  W.  Manypermy!  But 
thus  he  continues;  "The  very  words  tomahawk,  scalping 
knife,  and  torture  scaffold  fill  the  fancy  with  dire  images; 
and  to  say  'as  savage  as  an  Iroquois  warrior'  is  to  exhaust  the 
power  of  simile."  But  in  impressing  the  youthful  "fancy 
with  dire  images''  while  studying  his  "School  History  of 
tomahawks,  scalping  knives  and  torture  scaffolds"  and  in 
delibly  stamping  upon  their  memories  his  emphatic  "to  say 
as  savage  as  'ait  Iroquois  warrior'  is  to  exhaust  the  powers 
of  simile,"  he  is  scrupulously  careful  not  to  mention,  or  even 
drop  a  hint,  in  regard  to  the  foul  massacre  of  the  friendly 
Cheyenne  chief,  Black  Kettle  and  his  band  by  Gen.  Custer 
and  his  soldiers,; X,ov.  27th,  1868;  of  which  Superintendent 
Murphy,  after  the  diabolical  massacre,  wrote  the  commis 
sioner  of  Indian  affairs;  "It  was  Black  Kettle's  band  of 
Cheyennes.  Black  Kettle,  one  of  the  best  and  truest  friends 
the  whites  ever  had  among  the  Indians  of  the  plains;"  and  of 
the  "horrible"  butchery  of  the  Piegan  Indians,  on  the  23rd 
of  January,  1870,  who  were  helplessly  afflicted  with  the 
small  pox,  and  guilty  of  no  offense  except  being  Indians,  but 
in  which  assassination,  one  hundred  and  seventy -three  In 
dians  were  slaughtered  in  cold  blood  by  the  whites,  without 
the  "loss  of  a  man:  ninety  of  whom  were  women,  and  fifty- 
five  of  them  children,  none  older  than  twelve  years,  and 
many  of  them  in  their  mothers'  arms;"  and  though  the 
butchery  <j|  these  unoffending  and  helpless  human  beings 
merits  the  execration  of  all  men,  yet  the  actors  in  the  bloody 
scene  lived  to  boast  among  their  fellows  "I  too  have  killed  an 
Indian,"  though' that  Indian  was  an  infant  in  its  mother's 
arms;  while  their  head  was  honored  as  the  "Great"  General 
Sheridan,  backed  by  General  Sherman,  at  whose  feet  syco 
phants  bow  and  humbly  solicit  a  smile  from  his  august  per 
sonage,  then  die  happy,  if  obtained,  but  in  despair,  if 
refused.  Merciful  God!  If  the  very  words  "tomahawlv, 



scalping  knife  and  torture  fill  the  fancy  with  dire  images; 
and  to  say  as  savage  as  an  Iroquois  warrior  is  to  exhaust  the 
powers  of  simile,"  does  not  the  butcher  of  helpless  and  un 
offending  Indian  women  and  children  by  civilized  whites 
equally  "fill  the  fancy  with  dire  images"?  and  to  say  as  sav 
age  as  a  Sheridan  and  Sherman  in  the  blood-thirsty  wars  of 
exterminating  the  Indians  of  the  western  plains,  to  protect 
the  white  desperadoes  in  their  depredations  upon  that  help 
less  people,  and  thereby  stick  another  feather  in  their  cap  of 
war  fame  to  conciliate  shouts  of  the, .rabble,  music  more 
sweet  to  their  bloody  senses  than  that  of  heavenly  angels, 
"is  to  exhaust  every  power  of  simile."  In  the  name  of  truth, 
justice  and  humanity,  if  what  Mr.  Many  penny  has  revealed 
in  his  "  Our  Indian  Wards,"  a  copy  of  which  every  lover  of 
truth,  justice  and  humanity  should  purchase  and  read,  as 
jdue  to  the  interests  of  truth,  justice,  religion  and  humanity, 
is  not  enough  to  cause  an  indignant  God  to  visit  these  United 
States  with  his  avenging  hand,  then  indeed  they  have  noth 
ing  to  fear  in  regard  to  wrhat  they  must  do.  Be  it  as  it  may, 
there  is  abundant  reason  to  tremble,  if  we  would  reflect  that 
God  is  just. 

On  the  16th  of  February,  1763,  the  whole  of  Louisiana, 
for  which  they  had  so  long  struggled,  passed  entirely  from 
under  the"  dominion  of  the  French  to  that  of  the  Engiish  ; 
and  all  evidences  of  their  occupancy  of  the  sea  coast  of  Mis 
sissippi,  since  Iberville  first  landed  there  on  the  16th  of  Feb 
ruary,  1693,  are  now  only  remembered  as  matters  of  history 
and  traditions  of  the  long  past. 

In  1765,  through  the  solisitation  of  Johnstone,  then  act 
ing  as  governor,  the  Choctaws  and  Chickasaws  convened  in 
feneral  council  with  him  at  Mobile,  at  wrhich  time  were  con- 
rmed  the  former  treaties  of  peace  and  friendship,  and  also 
regulations  of  trade  were  established  between  them  and  the 
English;  and  in  1777,  the  Choctawrs,  the  first  time  ever  be 
fore  sold  a  small  portion  of  their  country  then  known  as  the 
Natchez  District,  to  the  English  Superintendent  of  Indian 
Affairs,  which  lay  on  the  Mississippi  river  and  extended 
north  from  the  bluff  then  known  as  Loftus  Cliffs  to  the 
mouth  of  the  Yazoo  river,  110  miles  above. 

In  June,  1784,  the  Choctaws,  Chickasaws  and  Muscogees 
convened  in  council  at  Pensacola,  (corrupted  from  the  Choc- 
taw  words  Puska  Okla,  People  with  abundant  bread)  and 
there  made  a  treaty  of  peace  with  Spain. 

Soon  after,  Alexander  McGillervey,  the  famous  chief  of 
the  Muscogees,  as  representative  of  the  Coweta  claim  of  the 
Muscogees, ^together  with  the  Seminole.s,  Mobelans  (prop 
erly^,  Mobinahs)andTalapoosas  (corrupted  from  the  Choctaw 


Words  Tuli  Pushi,   Iron  Dust)  concluded   a  treaty v  of  peace 
and  friendship  with  the  same  nation. 

At  this  time,  the  United  States  set  up  her  claim  over  the 
entire  territories  of'the  southern  Indians  by  virtue  of  the 
English  title,  though  the  Cherokees,  Choctaws  Chickasaws 
and  Muscogees,  whose  landed  possessions  were  more  exten 
sive  than  all  the  southern  tribes  combined;  but  out  of  which 
she  finally  ousted  them,  though  they  had  replenished  the 
feeble  ranks  of  her  army  with  their  warriors,  and  helped  her 
out  from  under  the  yoke  of  British  oppression  fighting-  un 
der  Gen.  Wayne  and  Gen  Sullivan,  only  to  have  her  yoke  of 
oppression  placed  upon  their  necks  in  turn  as  a  recompense 
of  reward  for  their  services  and  as  a  memento  of  our  "dis 
tinguished"  gratitude  to  them;  while  Spain  claimed,  at  the 
same  time,  the  lion's  part  of  their  territories  by  virtue  of  her 
treaties,  not  with  the  Indians,  the  legal  owners,  but  with' 
England  and  France;  while  the  Indians  In  whom  rested  the 
only  true  and  valid  title,  gazed  upon  the  scene  of  controversy 
over  their  ancient  domains,  as  silent  but  helpless  specta 

That  the  Choctaws  were  once  a  numerous  people,  even 
years  after  the  destruction  of  Mobinah,  the  chief  town  of 
Tushkalusas  Iksa  or  clan,  by  De  Soto,  there  can  be  but  little 
room  for  doubt.  Their  ancient  traditions  affirm  they  were 
at  one  time  one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  strong,  but  some 
allowance  perhaps  should  be  made  upon  that  statement, 
however,  their  territory,  as  late  as  1771,  extended  from  Mid 
dle  Mississippi  south  to  the  Gulf  of  Mexico;  and  from  the 
Alabama  river  west  to  the  Mississippi  river,  embracing  as 
fine  a  country  as  the  eye  could  possibly  desire  to  behold; 
and  De  Soto  states  he  passed  through  towns  and  villages  all 
along- his  route  through  their  territory,  as  well  as  through 
the  territorities  of  other  southern  tribes.  Roman  states,  in 
his  travels  through  the  Choctaw  Territory  in  1771,  he  pass 
ed  through  seventy  of  their  towns.  Rev.  Cyrus  Byington, 
who  was  a  missionary  among  the  Choctaws  for  many 
years  previous  to  their  exodus  to  the  west,  and  had  traveled 
all  over  their  country  in  his  labors  of  love  and  mercy,  com 
puted  their  number,"  all  told,  at  the  time  of  their  removal,  at 
forty  thousand,  but  at  which  time  six  thousand  died  en  route 
many  with  cholera,  and  others  with  various  other  diseases 
contracted  on  the  road,  as  is  well  authenticated.  I  was  in 
formed,  when  traveling  over  their  country  in  1884,  by  an  old 
Choctaw  with  whom  I  was  personally  acquainted  when  living 
east  of  the  Mississippi,  that  many,  when  they  first  moved  to 
their  present  homes,  settled  contiguous  to  the  pestilential 
Red  river,  and  in  a  few  years  four  hundred  of  the  colony 


had  died,  and  the  rest  moved  away  from  that  stream  of  death 
.   to  other  parts  of  their  territory. 

Picket,     in  his   History   of  Alahama,     says:     "In   1771 
there  were  two  thousand  three  hundred  warriors   registered 
upon  the  superintendent's  books  at  Mobile,  while  two   thous 
ands  were  scattered  over  the  country,    engaged  in  hunting." 
But  that  did  not  weigh  the  value  of  a  poor  scruple  in  sustain 
ing  the  seemingly  advanced   position,    that   the   Choctaws   at 
that  time  only   numbered   about  forty-three   hundred    war 
riors;  as  it  is  safe  to  say,  the  French  did.  not  register  a   fifth 
of  the  warriors,  for  several  reasons:     First,  from  their  great 
aversion  to  their  numbers  being   known   to   the   whites;  sec 
ond,  their  dread  and  superstitious  fear  of  having  their  names 
written  in  the  "white   man's   books;"   third,   the   great   dis 
tance  that   the   homes   of   thousands   lay   from   Mobile,    but 
few  of  whom  ever   saw   the   place;   fourth,    the    missionaries 
who  traveled  all  over  their  country  found   their   villages   and 
towns  everywhere.;   And    if   the   French     had  twenty-three 
hundred  Choctaw  warriors'  names  registered  upon  the  pages 
of  their  books,  I  feel  confident,  from  my   own   knowledge   of 
the  Choctaws  over  seventy  years  ago,  in  saying  very  few;   if 
any,  of  the   owners   of   those   registered  names   knew   they 
were  recorded  there.     And  if  all  be  taken  into  consideration, 
the  six  thousand,  the  lowest  estimate,   slain   in   the   destruc 
tion  of  Mobinah,  then  the  great  number  that  must   have  per 
ished  in  their  wars  with   the  English   and  French,   as   allies 
first  to  the  one  and   then  to  the   other;  and  their   wars  with 
various  other  tribes;  and  the  many  that  were  killed  and  died 
from  disease  when   engaged   in  our  Revolutionary  war;  and 
the  six  thousand  that   died   on  their   removal   to  the    west  in 
1832-33;  and  the    multiplied  'hundreds   that   died   soon   after 
their  arrival  to  their  present   place  of   abode,  from    diseases 
contracted  en  route  and  from  not  being  acclamated    to   their 
new  country;  and    in  addition  to  all   this',  the  many    depress 
ing  influences  they  have   labored  under   since  they  have  had 
to  do  with  the  White  Race,  and  the  terrible  dispensation  un 
der   which   they  have  'lived,  they   must,  at   an   early   period 
have""  been  a  numerous  people,  or   long  since  they  would  have 
become  totally  eAtinct. 

"The  Severally  Bill!"  I  was  in  the  Indian  Territory 
and  read  a  letter  from  an  Indian  delegate  in  Washington 
City,  to  a  friend  in  the  Territory  and  was  forcibly  struck 
with  the  shameful  truth  of  one  sentence  "Congress  can  and 
will  pass  any  bill  to  destroy  the  Indians."  Yet  nothing 
strange"  in  this,  since  rascality  and  debauchery  characterize 
that  once  pure  and  noble  body,  if  even  half  be  true  that  is 
said  about  it,  by  those  who  have  seen  behind  the  curtains.  I 


also  read  another  letter  written  by  an  Indian  in  the  Territory 
to  a  delegate  of  his  people,  then  (Feb.   15,  1887,)  in  Wash 
ington  from  which,  by  request  and  permission,  I  copied  the 
following-  without  alteration  : 
"Dear  old  friend:" 

"Wounded  and  grieved  over  the  action*  of  Congress  and 
the  President,  who  gave  the  Indians  his  word  (which  should 
be  as  his  bond)  to  stand  by  us,  when  our  rights  were  trepass- 
ed  upon.  Behold  now,  his  actions  in  the  severally  bill.  Are 
there  no  honest  men,  citizens  of^  the  United  States?  Alas, 
even  the  highest  in  power  .has  no  regard  for  his  word  1 
There  must  be  very  little  honesty  among  them,  and  if  God 
forsakes  us,  we  will  soon  be  remembered  only  in  story.  God 
knows,  if  we  had  only  th&  power  that  the  United  States  have 
I  would  be  willing  to  resent  the  wrong  and  insult,  if  it  should 
be  at  the  sacrifice  of  every  drop  of  Indian  blood  that  is1  cir 
cling  in  our  race."  (All  praise  to  that  noble  and  patriotic 
spirit),  "Cleveland  thinking"  he  might  lose  the  next  nomina 
tion  for  President,  is  willing  to  sacrifice  his  word  or  honor 
(whatever  you  may  choose  to  call  it)  to  be  on  the  popular 
side.  Away  with  such  hypocrisy!  He  should  be  a  man  of 
some  principle  and  stamina,  but  he  lacks  all  of  it. 

"Dawes,  when  here,  said  he  would  do  everything  to  ad 
vance  our  cause;  that  he  was  surprised  to  see  the  intelligence 
and  evidences  of  progress  existing  among  us.  See  too,  what 
he  has  done!  God  will  surely  damn  such  hypocrites.  Poor 
Mr.  Brown,  I  feel  sorry  for  him,  standing  alone,  as  it  were, 
in  the  cause  of  humanity  and  justice;  but  'I  hope  he  will  not 
feel  disheartened  in  the  good  cause,  .but  will  gather  strength 
from  the  ruins  of  broken  treaties^  and  shattered  pledges, 
made  and  violated  by  his  so-called  great  and  magnanimous 
government.  All  honor  and  peace  be  his. 

"We  will  ever  feel  grateful  to  him  for  the  active  part  he 
took  in  our  behalf.  Had  there  been  a  few  more  honest  and 
fearless  men  like  him  in  Congress,  we  might  have  fared  bet 
ter.  ^  Inch  by  inch,  does  Congress  trespass  upon  and  violate 
the  solemn  vows  rt  bas  made.  Surely  such  an  outrage  is 
almost  enough  to  drive  us  to  raise  the  tomahawk,  and- die, 
every  one  of  us,  in  fighting  for  justice  against  such  high 
handed  tyranny  and  insupportable  oppression  of  our  help 
less  and  hopeless  race. " 

What  patriotic  heart  but  leaps  with  emotions  of  pride 
at  the  heroic  sentiments  expressed  in  the  above.  Truth, 
justice,  humanity,  Christianity,  our  honor  and  integrity  as  a 
professed  Christian  people,  backed  by  a  just  and  righteous 
God  above,  demand  of  us  to  proclain  our  fiat  to  the  scoun- 

HISTORY    OF    THE    INDIANS.         ,  9/ 

drels  that  to-day  so  curse  our  country  and  disgrace  us  as  a 
people,  in  a  tone  of  voice  that  shall  be  heard  and,  obe}red,  in 
the  imperative  command,  Halt! 

On  June  22nd,  1784,  the  Spaniards  convened  a  council 
at  Mobile,  Ala.,  in  which  the  Choctaws  and  Chickasaws  were 
largely  represented,  also  a  few  other  smaller  tribes  came 
with  their  families.  As  usual  on  all  such  occasions,  the 
Spaniards,  unexcelled  only  by  the  Americans  afterwards, 
lavished  upon  the  Indians  their  flattery  and  presents,  each 
of  equal  value,  with  unwearied  tong-ues  and  unsparing-  hands, 
thus  to  induce  them  to  form  a  treaty  of  alliance  and  trade, 
which  wras  successfully  consummated.  The  last  article  of 
this  treaty  then  entered  -into,  confirmed,  in  the  name 'of  the 
xSpanish  King,  the  Indians  in  the  peaceable  possession  of  all 
their  territories  within  the  King's  dominions;  and  further 
more,  it  was  stipulated,  should  any  of  them  be  deprived  of 
their  lands  by  any  of  the  King's  enemies,  he  would  re 
possess  them  with  other  lands  within  his  territories  equal 
in  extent  and  value  to  those  lost.  But  as  stipulations  and 
promises,  never  intended  to  be  fulfilled,  and  cajolery 
and  flattery  to  deceive  them  into  a  trusting  belief  of  true 
friendship,  were  the  means  adopted  and  practiced  by  the 
foreign  nations  that  contended  with  each  other  for  a  portion 
of  the  North  American  Continent,  so  they,  as  the  vicissitudes 
of  war  dictated,  withdrew  their  interest  in  and  protection 
from  the  confiding  Indians  to  whom,  they  had  made  so  many 
fair  promis'es  of  protection,  and  manifested  such  high 
tentions  of  sincere  and  disinterested  friendship,  and 
hesitatingly  assumed  the  right  of  transferring  them  to  any 
nation  which  their  interest  demanded  without  a  care,  or  even 
a  thought,  of  the  interests  and  welfare  of  the  Indians;  thus 
conclusively  proving  that  they,  each  haunted  with  the  fear  of 
the  other,  using'  every  effort  to  secure  and  maintain  the  good 
will  of  the  Indians  only  for  the  purpose  of  interposing  them 
between  themselves  and  their  encroaching  rivals,  when  it 
was  to  their  interests  so  to  do. 

The  Spaniards  again  induced  thirty-six  of  the  most 
prominent  and  influential  chiefs  of  the  Choctaws  and  Chick 
asaws  to  visit  them  at  New  Orleans  in  1787,  where  they  were 
received  and  entertained  with  the  greatest  manifestations  of 
sincere  respect  and  friendship,  by  escorting  tliem  to  public 
balls  and  military  parades,  and  the  usual  bestowal  of  pres 
ents  and  flattery;  nor  did  it  ever  occur  to  the  Choctaws  and 
Chickasaws  that  all  this  was  but  for  the  purpose  of  rendering 
them,  their  more  easy  prey,  and  their  assumed  friendship  de 
signed  but  to  throw  them  off  their  guard,  and  thus  conceal 
their  real  intentions;  thus  they  were  induced  to  renew  their 


pledges  of  peace  and  friendship. to  the  Spaniards,  by  smok 
ing-  the  pipe  of  peace  in  confirmation  of  their  former  treaty, 
by  judging-  the  actions  of  the  Spaniards  from  the  standpoint 
of  the  integrity  and  honesty  of  their  own  hearts. 

The  first  treaty  made  with  the  Choctaws  by  the  United 
States  was  at  Hopewell,  on  January  3rd,  1786;  and  'between 
this  and  January  20th,  1825,  seven  additional  treaties  were 
made  with  them;  the  second  being'  December  17th,  1801,  in 
which  it  was  mutually  agreed  between  the  Choctaw  Nation 
and  the  United  States  Government,  "that  the  old  line  of  de 
marcation  heretofore  established  by  and  between  the  officers 
of  his  Brittanic  Majesty  and  the  Choctaw  Nation,  shall  be 
retraced,  and.  plainly  marked  in  such  a  way  aiidnnanner  as 
the  President  may  direct,  in  the  presence  of  two  persons  to 
be  appointed  by  the  said  nation;  and  that  the  said  line  shall 
be  the  boundary  between  the  settlements  of  the.  Mississippi 
Territory  and  the  Choctaw  nation." 

James  Wilkerson,  as  commissioner  of  the  United  States; 
and  Push-kush  Miko,  (Baby  Chief),  and  Ahlatah  Humma, 
(Mixed  Red,  i.  e.  Mixed  with  Red),  as  commissioners  of  the 
Choctaw  nation,  did  run  and  make  distinctly  this  division 
line,  and  made  a  report  of  the  same,  August  31st,  1803,  as 
follows:  "And  we,  the  said  commissioners  plenipotentiary, 
do  ratify  and  confirm,  the  said  line  of  demarcation,  and  do 
recognize  and  acknowledge  the  same  to  be  the  boundary 
which  shall  separate  arid  distinguish  the  land  ceded  to  the 
United  States,  between  the  Tom  big-bee,  Mobile,  and  Pascu- 
gola  rivers*  from  that  which  had  not -been  ceded  by  the  said 
Choctaw  nation."1 

The  names  of  the  ancient  Choctaws,  as  well  as  their 
entire  race,  as  far  as  I  have  been  enabled  to  learn,  were 
nearly  always  connative  referring1  generally  to  some  animal, 
and  often  predicating'  some  attribute  of  that  animal.  Such 
names  were  easily  expressed  in  sign  language;  as  the  ob- 
jectiveness  of  the  Indian  proper  names  with  the  result,  is 
that  they  could  all  be  signified  by  gesture,  whereas  the  best 
sign  talker  among  deaf  mutes,  it  is  said,  is  unable  to  translate 
the  proper  names  in  his  speech,  therefore  resorts  to  the 
dactylic  alphabet.  The  Indians  were  generally  named,  or 
rather  acquired  a  name,  and  sometimes  several  in  succession, 
from  some  noted  exploit  or  hazardous  adventure.  Names 
of  rivers,  creeks,  mountains,  hills,  etc..  were  given  with 
reference  to  some  natural  peculiarity;  for  the  Indian  had  "a 
literature  of  his  own,  which  grew  every  year  in  proportions 
and  value;  it  was  the  love  of  Nature,  which  may  be  developed 
in  every  heart  and  which  seldom  fails  to  purify  and  exalt. 


Ignorance  and  prejudice  call  the  Indians  savages.  I  call 
them  heroes.  You  and  I,  reader,  may  not  know  where  or 
how  they  live.  God  does. 

As  before  stated,  the  first  treaty  was  made  by  the  United 
States  with  the  Choctaw  Nation  on  Jan.  3d,  1786.  The  follow 
ing"  Articles  of  this  treaty  were  concluded  at  Hopewell,  on  the 
Keowee  River,  near  a  place  known  as  Seneca  Old  Town  be 
tween  Benjamin  Hawkins,  Andrew  Pickens,  and  Joseph 
Martin,  commissioners  plenipotentiary  of  the  United  States 
of  America,  of  the  one  part,  Yockenahoma,  (I  give  the  names 
of  the  Choctaws  as  recorded  in  the  treaty,  and  also  give  their 
corrections  and  significations),  corruption,  Yoknahoma; 
Orig.,  Yoknihumma  Land,  Hoommar  , Red,  great  medal  chief 
of  Soanacoha,  corruption  of  Sanukoah,  pro.  as  Sar-nook-o-ah * 
(I  am  mad);  Yackehoopie,  corruption  of  Yakni  Hopaii  pro.  as 
Yark-nih,  (Land)  Ho-py-ye  (Land  of  the  war  chief,  leading 
chief  of  Bugtoogoloo,  corruption  of  Bok  Tuklo,  pro.  as  Boke 
(Creek)  Took-lo  (Two);  Mingohoopari,  corruption  of  Miko 
Hopaii,  pro.  as  Mik-o  (Chief)  Ho-py-ye  (Leader  as  War  Chief), 
leading  chief  of  Hashooqua,  corruption  of  Hashokeah,  pro. 
as  Harsh-oh-ke-ah  (Even  the  aforesaid);  Tobocoh,  corruption 
ofTobihEoh,  pro.  as  Tone-bih  Eoh  (All  Sunshine)  great 
medal  chief  of  Congetoo,  utterly  foreign  to  the  Choctaw 
language;  Pooshemastuby,  corruption  of  Pasholih-ubih,  pro. 
as  Par-sha-lih  (To  handle)  ub-ih  (and  kill)  gorget  captain  of 
Senayazo;  cor.  of  Siah  (I  am)  Yo-shu-ba  (as  ah)  Lost;  and 
thirteen  small  medal  chiefs  of  the  first-class,  -twelve'  medal 
and  gorget  captains,  commissioners  plenipotentiary  of  all  the 
Choctaw  nation,  of  the  other  part. 

The  commissioners  plenipotentiary  of  the  United  States 
of  America  give  peace  to  all  ,the  Ghoctaw  Nation, 
ceive  them  into  favor  and  protection  of  the  United  States  of 
America,  on  the  following  conditions: 

Article  1st. — The  commissioners  plenipotentiary  of  all 
the  Choctaw  Nation,  shall  restore  all  the  prisoners,  citizens 
of  the' United  States  (useless  demand,  as  the  Choctaws  were 
never  at  war  with  the  United  States,  and  never  held  any 
citizen  of  the  United  States  as  a  prisoner,  but  always  were 
their  faithful  allies)  or  subjects  of  their  allies,  to  their  entire 
liberty,  if  any  there  be  in  the  Choctaw  Nation.  .  Thev  shall 
also  restore  all  the  negroes,  and  all  other  property,"  taken 
during  the  late  war,  from  the  o^tizens,  to  such  person,  ancTat 
such  time  and  place,  as  the  commissioners  of  the  United 
States  of  America  shall  appoint,  if  any  there  be  in  the  Choc 
taw  Nation. 

Article  2nd. — The  commissioners  plenipotentiary  of  all 
.the  Choctaw  Nation, 'do  hereby  acknowledge  the  tribes  and 

\     100  HISTORY    OF    THE   INDIANS. 

towns  of  the  said  Nation,  and  the  lands  with  the  boundary 
allotted  to  the  said  Indians  to  live  and  hunt  on,  as  mentioned 
in  the  Third  Article,  to  be  under  the  protection  of  the. 
United  States  of  America,  and  of  no  other  sovereign  what 

Article  3rd.— The  boundary  of  the  lands  hereby  allotted 
to  the  Choctaw  Nation  to  live  and  hunt  on,  within  the  limits 
of  the  United  States  of  America,  is  and  shall  be  the  follow 
ing1,  viz.:  Beginning  at  a  point  on  the  thirty-first  degree  of 
north  latitude,  where  the  eastern  boundary  of  the  Natchez 
district  shall  touch  the  same  ;  thence  east  along-  the  thirty- 
first  degree  of  north  latitude,  being*  the  southern  boundary 
*  of  the  United  States  of  America,  until  it  shall  strike  the 
eastern  boundary  of  the  lands  on  which  the  Indians  of  the 
said  nation  did  live  and  hunt  on  the  twenty-ninth  of  Novem 
ber,  1782,  while  they  were  under  the  protection  of  the  King* 
of  Great  Britain:  thence  northerly  along  the  said  eastern 
boundary,  until  it  shall  meet  the  northern  boundary  of  the 
said  lands;  thence  westerly  along  the  said  northern  boun 
dary,  until  it  shall  meet  the  western  boundary  thereof: 
thence  southerly  along  the  same,  to  the  beginning;  saving 
and  reserving  for  the  establishment  of  trading  posts,  three 
tracts  or  parcels  of  land,  of  six  miles  square  each,  at  such 
places  as  the  United  States,  in  Congress  assembled,  shall  think 
proper;  which  posts,  and  the  lands  annexed  to  them,  shall 
be  to  the  use  and  under  the  government  of  the  United  States 
of  America. 

Article  4th. — If  any  citizen  of  the  United  States,  or  other 
person,  not  being  an  Indian,  shall  attempt  to  settle  on  any  of 
s  the  lands  hereby  allotted  to  the  Indians  to  live  and  hunt  on, 
such  persons  shall  forfeit  the  protection  of  the  United  States 
of  America,  and  the  Indians  may  punish  him  or  not  as  they 

Article  5th. — If  any  Indian  or  Indians,  or  persons  resid 
ing  among  them,  or  who  shall  take  refuge  in  their  nation, 
shall  commit  a  robbery  or  murder,  or  other  capital  crime,  on 
any  citizen  of  the  United  States  of  America,  or  person  under 
their  protection,  the  tribe  to  which  such  offender  may  be 
long,  or  the  nation,  shall  be  bound  to  deliver  him  or  them  up 
to  be  punished  according  to  the  ordinances  of  the  United 
States  in  Congress  assembled:  provided,  that  the  punish 
ment  shall  not  be  greater  than  if  the  robbery  or  murder,  or 
other  capital  crime,  had  been  committed  by  a  citizen  on  a 

Article  6th. — If  any  citizen  of  the  United  States  of 
America,  or  person  under  their  protection,  shall  commit  a 
robbery  or  murder,  or  other  capital  crime,  on  any  Indian, 


-such  offender  or  offenders  shall  be  punished  in  the  same 
manner  as  if  the  robbery  or  murder,  or  other  capital  crime, 
had  been  committed  on  a  citizen  of  the  United  States  of 
America;  and  the  punishment  shall  be  in  the  presence  of 
some  of  the  Choctaws,  if  any  will  attend  at.  the  time  and 
place;  and  that  they  may  have  an  opportunity  so  to  do,  due 
notice,  if  practicable,  of  the  time  of  such  intended  punish 
ment  shall  be  sent  to  some  one  of  the  tribe. 

Article  7th. — It  is  understood  that  the  punishment  of 
the  innocent,  under  the  idea  of  retaliation,  is  unjust,  and 
.shall  not  be  practiced  on  either  side,  except  where  there  is  a 
manifest  violation  of  this  treaty;  and  then  it  shall  be  pre 
ceded,  first  by  a  demand  of  justice;  and  if  refused,  then  by  a 
declaration  of  hostilities .  (But  wherein  is  this  to  benefit  the 
Choctaws,  if,  to  the  best  of  their  'judgment,  "this  treaty" 
was  violated  by  us,  and  their  demand  of  justice  was  refused? 
Could  they  hope  to  obtain  justice  "by  a  declaration  of  hostili 
ties"?  What  a  farce  is  such  a  futile  attempt  to  display  our 
wonderful  generosity  to  the  Choctaws,  when  we  have  openly 
violated  every  treaty  made  with  them,  whenever  it  was  to 
-our  interest  so  to  do,  a  truth  we  cannot  deny,  knowing  the 
folly  they  would  be  guilty  of  in  declaring  war  against  us 
when  \ve  were  as  a  thousand  to  one  of  them  in  every  particu 
lar  as  to  advantage.  Nor  have  we  neglected  to  use  those  ad 
vantages  from  1786  down  the  passing  years  to^the  present, 
to  the  utter  impoverishment  and  final  extermination  of 'the 
too  confiding  Indians). 

For  the  benefit  and  comfort  of  the  Indians,  and  for  the 
prevention  of  injuries  or  oppressions  on  the  part  of  the  citi 
zens  or  Indians,  the  United  States  in  Congress  assembled 
shall  have  the  sole  and  exclusive  right  of  regulating  the  trade 
with  the  Indians,  and  managing  all  their  affairs  in  such  man- 
jier  as  they  think  proper. 

Then  wras  inaugurated  a  system  of  fraud  by  which  the 
Choctaws  were  completely  given  into  the  hands  .of  a  few 
soulless  white  traders  who  fleeced  their  victims  at  will. 

Article  9th. — Until  the  pleasure  of  Congress  be  known, 
respecting  the  8th  article,  all  traders,  .citizens  of  the  United 
States  of  America,  shall  have  liberty  to  go  to  any  of  the  tribes 
or  towns  of  the  Choctaws,  to  trade  with  them,  and  they  shall 
be  protected  in  their  persons  and  property  and  kindly 

Article  10. — The  said  Indians  shall  give  notice  to  the  citi 
zens  of  the  United  States  of  America,  of  any  designs  which 
they  may  know  or  suspect  to  be  formed  in  any  neighboring 
tribe,  or  bv  any  person  whomsoever,  against  the  peace, 
trade,  or  interest,  of  th^  United  States,  of  America. 


/  \ 

Article  11. — The  hatchet  shall  be  forever  buried,  and  the 
peace  given  by  the  United^States  of  America,  and  friendship 
re-established  between  the  said  States  on  the  one  part,  and 
all  the  Choctaw  nation  on  the  other  part,  shall  be  universal, 
and  the  contracting  parties  shall  use  their  utmost  endeavors 
to  maintain  the  peace  given  as  aforesaid,  and  friendship 

In  witness  of  all  and  every  thing  herein  determined,  be 
tween  the  United  States  of  America  and  all  the  Choctaws,  we, 
the  underwritten  commissioners,  by  virtue  of  our  full  powers\ 
have  signed  this  definitive  treaty,  and  have  caused  our  seals- 
to  be  hereunto  affixed. 

Done  at  Hopewell,  on  the  Keowee,  third  dav  of  Jan 
uary,  1786  L.  S.  (Locus  Sigilli)  Place  of  the  Seal. 


Corruption:  Yockenahoma,  his  x  mark.  Original:  Yok- 
ni  Humma,  pro.  Yak-nih  Hoom-mah  Land  Red. 

Corruption:  Yokehoopoie,  his  x  mark.  Original:  Yak- 
ni  hopaii  (as,  hopy  ye).  Land  of  the  Oar-chief. 

Corruption:  Mingo  hoopaie,  his  x  mark.  Original:  Mi- 
kohopaii.  Leader,  as  War-chief. 




Thomas  Jefferson,  President  of  the  United  States  of 
America,  by  James  Wilkerson,  of  the  State  of  Maryland,, 
brigadier  general  in  the  army  of  the  United  States,  Benjamin 
Hawkins,  of  North  Carolina,  and  Andrew  Pickens,  of  Softth 
Carolina,  commissioners  plenipotentiary  of  the  United  States, 
on  the  one  part,,  and  the  Mingoes,  principal  men  and  ;war- 
riors  of  the  Choctaw  Nation,  representing  the  said  Nation  in 
council  assembled,  on  the  other  part,  have  entered  into  the 
following  articles  and  conditions,  viz.: 

Article  1st. — Whereas,  the  United  States  in  Congress, 
assembled,  did,  by  their  commissioners  plenipotentiary, 
Benjamin  Hawkins,  Andrew  Pickens,  and  Joseph  Martin,  at 
a  treaty  held  with  the  chiefs  and  head  men  of  the  Choctaw 
Nation  at  Hopewell,  on  the  Keowee,  Julie  30th,  1786,  give 
peace  to  the  said  Nation,  and  receive  it  into, the  favor  and 
protection  of  the  United  States  of  America;  it  is  agreed  by 
the  parties  to  these  presents  respectively,  that  the  Choctaw 


Nation,  or  such  part  of  it  as  may  reside  within  the  limits  of 
the  United  States,  shall  be  and  continue  under  the  care  and 
protection  of  the  said  United  States;  and  that  the  mutual 
confidence  and  friendship  which  are  hereby  acknowledged 
to  subsist  between  the  contracting"  parties,  shall  be  main 
tained  and  perpetuated. 

Article  2nd. — The  Mingoes,  principal  men,  and  warriors 
of  the  Choctaw  Nation  of  Indians,  do  hereby  give  their  free 
consent  that  a  convenient  and  desirable  wagon-way  may  be 
explored,  marked,  opened,  and  made,  under  the  orders  and 
instructions  of  the  President  of  the  United  States,  through, 
their  lands;  to  commence  at  the  northern  extremity  of  the 
settlements  of  the  Mississippi  Territory,  and  to  extend  from 
thence,  by  such  .route  as  may  be  selected  and  surveyed  un 
der  the  authority  of  the  President  of  the  United  States,  until 
it  shall  strike  the  lands  claimed  by  the  Chickasaw  Nation; 
and  the  same  shall  be  and  continue  forever,  a  high-way  for 
the  citizens  of  the  United  States  and  the  Choctaws;  and  the 
said  Choctaws  shall  nominate  two  discreet  men  from  their 
Nation,  who  may  be  employed  as  assistants,  guides,  or 
pilots,  during  the  time  of  laying-  out  and  opening  the  said 
high-way,  or  so  long*  as  may  be  deemed  expedient,  under  the 
direction  of  the  officer  charged  with  this  duty,  who  shall  re 
ceive  a  reasonable  compensation  for  their  services. 

Article  3rd. — The  twro  contracting  parties  covenant  and 
agree,  that  the  old  line  of  demarkation  heretofore  established 
by  and  between  the  officers  of  his  Britanic  Majesty  and  the 
Choctaw  Nation,  which  runs  in  a  parallel  direction  with  the 
Mississippi  river,  and  eastward  thereof,  shall  be  retraced 
and  plainly  marked,  in  such  a  way  and  manner  as  the  Presi 
dent  may  direct,  in  the  presence  of  two  persons  to  be  ap 
pointed  by  the  said  Nation;  and  that  the  said  line  shall  be 
the  boundary  between  the  settlements  of  the  Mississippi 
Territory  and  the  Choctaw  Nation.  And  the  said  Nation 
does,  by  these  presents,  relinquish  to  the  United  States  and 
quit  claim  forever,  all  their  right,  title,  and  pretension,  to 
the  land  lying  between  the  said  line  and  the  Mississippi 
river,  bounded  south  by  the  thirty-first  degree  of  north  lati 
tude,  and  north  by  .the  Yazoo  river,  where  the  said  line  shall 
strike  same;  and  on  the  part  of  the  commissioners  it  is 
agreed,  that  all  persons  who  may  be  settled  beyond  this  line 
shall  be  removed  within  it,  on  the  side  toward  the  Missis 
sippi,  together  with  their  slaves,  household  furniture,  tools, 
materials,  and  stock,  and  the  cabins  or  houses  erected  by 
such  persons  shall  be  demolished. 

Article  4th.— The  President  of  the  United  States  may, 
at  his  discretion,  proceed  to  execute  the  Second  Article  of 


this  treaty;  and  the  Third  Article  shall  be  carried  into  effect 
as  soon  as  may  be  convenient  to  the  Government  of  the 
United  States,  and  without  unnecessary  delay  on  the  one 
part  or  the  other,  of  which  the  President  shall  be  judge;  the 
Choctaws  to  be  reasonably  advised,  by  order  of  the  Presi 
dent  of  the  United  States,  of  the  time  when,  and  the  place 
where,  the  re-survey  and  re-marking-  of  the  old  line  referred 
to  in  the  preceding  Article  will  be  commenced. 

Article  5th. — The  commissioners  of  the  United  States 
for  and  in  consideration  of  the  foregoing  concessions  on  the 
part  of  the  Choctaw  Nation,  and  in  full  satisfaction,  do  give 
and  deliver  to  the  Mingoes,  chiefs,  and  warriors,  of  the  said 
Nation,  at  the  signing  of  these  presents,  the  value  of  $2,000 
in  goods  and  merchandise,  net  cost  at  Philadelphia,  the  re 
ceipt  whereof  is  hereby  acknowledged,  and  they  further  en 
gage  to  give  three  sets  of  blacksmith  tools  to  the  said  Na 

Article  6th. — This  treaty  shall  take  effect  and  be  obliga 
tory  on  the  contracting' parties,  as  soon  as  the  same  shall  be 
ratified  by  the  President  of  the  United  States  of  America, 
by  and  with  the  advice  and  consent  of  the  Senate  thereof. 

In  testimony  whereof,  the  commissioners  plenipoten 
tiary  of  the  United  States,  and  the  Mingoes,  principal  men, 
and  warriors  of  the  Choctaw  nation,  have  hereto  subscribed 
their  names  and  affixed  their  seals,  at  Fort  Adams,  on.  the 
Mississippi,  this  the  17th  day  of  December,  1801,  and  of  the 
independence  of  the  United  States  the  26. 


Corruption:  Tuskana  Hopia,  his  x  mark.  Original: 
Tushka -hopnii,  Warrior  of  the  War  Chief. 

Corruption:  Toota  Homo,  his  x  mark.  Original:  Tobu 
hum  ma,  made  red. 

Corruption:  Ming*o  Horn  Massatubby,  his  x  mark. 
Original:  Miko  humma  ubi  (i,  as  ih)  Red  chief  killer. 

This  treaty  was  also  signed  by  twenty-two  other  Choc- 
taws,  whose  names  are  omitted. 


CONCLUDED    OCTOBER   17'rir,    1802,   BETWEEN'  THE   CHOCTAW 

A    provisional    convention,    entered   into   and    made    by 
Brigadier  General  James  Wilkerson,   of   the   State   of  Mary- 

HISTORY    OI^    THE    INDIANS  105 

land,  commissioner  for  holding-  conferences  with  the  In 
dians  south  of  the  Ohio  river,  in  behalf  of  the  United  States, 
on  the  one  part,  and  the  whole  Choctaw  Nation,  by  their 
chiefs,  -head  men,  and  principal  warriors,  on  the  other 
part . 

Preamble:  For  the  mutual  accommodation  of  the  par 
ties,  and  to  perpetuate  that  concord  and  friendship,  which  so 
happily  subsists  between  them,  they  do  hereby  freely,  vol 
untarily,  and  without  constraint,  covenant  and  agree: 

Article  1st.— That  the  President  of  the  United  States 
may,  at  his  discretion,  by  a  commissioner  or  commissioners, 
to  be  appointed  by  him,  by  and  with  the  advice  and  con 
sent  of  the  Senate  of  the  United  States,  retrace,  connect, 
and  plainly  re-rnark  the  old  line  of  limits,  established  by  and 
between  his  Britannic  majesty  and  the  said  Choctaw  nation, 
which  begins  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Chickasaw-hay  river, 
and  runs  thence  in  an  easterly  direction  to  the  right  bank 
of  the  Tombigbee  river,  terminating-  on  the  same,  at  a  bluff, 
well-known  by  the  name  of  Hacha  Tiggeby  (corruption  of 
Hacha  toh  bichi.  You  are  very  white,)  but  it  is  to  be  clear 
ly  understood,  that  two  commissioners,  to  be  appointed,  by 
the  said  nation,  from  their  own  body,  are  to  attend  the  com 
missioners  of  the  United  States,  who  may  be  .  appointed  to 
perform  this  service,  for  which  purpose  the  said  Choctawr 
Nation  shall  be  reasonably  advised  by  the  President  of  the 
United  States,  of  the  particular  period  at  which  the  opera 
tion  may  be  commenced,  and  the  said  Choctaw  commission 
ers  shall  be  subsisted  by  the  United  States,  so  long'  as  they 
may  be  engaged  on  this  business,  and  paid  for  their  services, 
during  the  said  term,  at  the  rate  of  one  dollar  per  day. 

Article  2nd. — The  chiefs,  head  men,  and  warriors,  of  the 
said  Choctaw  nation,  do  hereby  constitute,  authorize,  and 
appoint,  the  chiefs  and  head  men  of  the  upper  towns  of  the 
said  nation,  to  make  such  alteration  in  the  old  boundary 
line  near  the  mouth  of  the  Yazoo  river,  as  may  be  conven 
ient,  and  may  be  done  without  injury  to  the  said  Nation. 

Article  4. — This  convention  shall  take  effect,  and  becorhe 
obligatory  on  the  contracting  parties,  as  soon  as  the  Presi 
dent  of  the  United  States,  by  and  with  the  advice  and  consent 
of  the  Senate,  shall  have  ratified  the  same. 

In  testimony  whereof,  the  parties  have  hereunto  set 
their  hands  and  affixed  their  seals,  at  Fort  Confederation,  on 
the  Tombigbee,  in  the  Choctaw  country,  the  17th,  of  Octo 
ber  1802,  and  of  the  independence  of  the  United  States  the 


In  behalf  of  the  lower  towns  and  Chickasaw-hay. 

106  ,.    HISTORY    OF    THE   INDIANS.  ^ 

Corrupted:     Tuskona   Hoopoio,   his  x   mark.     Original:" 
Tushkahopaii.     Warrior  of  the  Prophet. 

'  Corruption:      Mingo   Hoopoio,    his   x   mark.       Original: 
Mikohopaii.     King-  of  the  War-chief. 

The  names  of  twelve  Choc  taws  are  omitted   who  signed 
this  treaty. 


>  CONCLUDED  AUGUST  31st,   1803,     BETWEEN    THE   CHOCTAW 

i     / 
To  whom  these  presents  shall  come:       , 

Know  ye,  that  the  undersigned  commissioners  plenipo 
tentiary  of  the  United  States  of  America,  of  the  one  part,  and 
the  whole  Choctaw  Nation  of  the  other  part,  being-  dulf  au 
thorized  by  the  President  of  the  United  States,  and  by  the 
chiefs  and  head  men  of  said  Nation,  do  hereby  establish,  in 
conformity  to  the  convention  of  Fort  Confederation,  for  the 
line  of  demarkation  recognized  in  said  convention,  the  follow 
ing  metes  and  bounds,  viz:  Beginning  at  the  channel  of  the 
Hatche  at  the  point  where  the  line  of  limits  between  the 
United  States  and  Spain  crosseth  the  same,  thence  up  the 
channel  of  said  river  to  the  confluence  of  the  Chickasaw-hay 
(corruption  of  Chikasahha)  and  Buckhatannee  (corruption  of 
Buchchah,  a  range  of  hills)  and  Haiitah  (to  be. .bright)  rivers, 
thence  up  the  channel  of  the  Buchhatannee  to  Boque  Hooma 
(corruption  of  Bokhumma,  Red  Creek,  thence  up  said  creek 
to  a  pine  tree  standing  on  the  left  bank  of  the  same,  and 
blazed  on  two  of  its  sides,  about  twelve  links  southwest  of  an 
old  trading  path,  leading  from  the  town  of  Mobile  to  the 
Hewanee  towns,  much  worn,  but  not  in  use  at  the  present 
time.  From  this  tree  we  find  the  following  bearings  and 
distances,  viz:  south  54  degrees  30  minutes  west,  one  chain, 
one  link,  a  blackgum,  north  39  degrees  east,  one  chain,  75 
links,  water  oak;  thence  with  the  old  British  line  of  partition 
in  its  various  inflections  to  a  mulberry  post,  planted  on  the 
right  bank  of  the  main  branch  of  Sintee  Bogue,  (cor.  of  Sinti 
Bok  and  pro.  as  Seen-tih  Boke,  Snake  Creek)  where  it  makes 
a  sharp  turn  to  the  south  east,  a  large  broken  top  cypress 
tree  standing  near  the  opposite  bank  of  the  creek,  which  is 
about  three  poles  wide,  theaice  down  the  said  creek  to  the 
Tombigbee  and  Mobile  rivers  to  the  above  mentioned  line  of 
limits  between  the  tTnited  States  and  Spain,  and  with  the 
same  to  the  point  of  beginning;  and  we,  the  said  commission 
ers  plenipotentiary,  do  ratify  and  confirm  the  said  line  of 


demarkation,  and  do  recog'nize  and  acknowledge  the  same  to 
be  the  boundary  which  shall  separate  and  distinguish  the 
land  ceded  to  the  United  States,  between  the  Tombigbee, 
Mobile  and  Pascagola  rivers,  from  that  which  has  hot  been 
ceded  by  the  said  Choctaw  Nation.  (Tombigbee,  corruption 
of  Itombiikbi,  Boxmaker;  Mobile,  corruption  of  Momabinah, 
A  lodge  for  all;  Pascag'ola,  corruption  of  Puskaokla,  Bread 
people).  In  testimony  whereof,  wre  hereunto  affix  our 
hands  and  seals,  this  31st,  day  of  August,  1803,  to  triplicates 
of  this  tenor  and  date.  Done  at  Hoe-Buck-intoopa,  (corrup 
tion  of  Hoburk,  coward  intakobi  lazy)  the  day  and  year  above 
written,  and  in  the  27th  year  of  the  independence  of  the 
United  States. 


""Corrupted:     Mingo   Pooscoos,    his   x     mark;     Original: 
Mikopuscus  (pro.  Mik-o  Poos-koosh)  Infant  King.  , 

Corrupted:     Alatala     Hooma,    his    x    mark.     Original: 
Alatalihhumma,  (pro.  Ar-lah-tah-lih  hoom.mah.) 
Witnesses  present:     Joseph  Chambers,  U.  S.  Factor. 
Young  Gaines,  Interpreter, 
John  Bowyer,  Capt.  2nd  U.  S.  Regt. 

We  the  commissioners  of  the  Choctaw  nation,  duly 
appointed,  and  the  chiefs  of  the  said  nation  who  reside  on  the 
Tombigbee  river,  next  to  Sintee  Bogue,  do  acknowledge  to 
have  received  from  the  United  States  of  America,  by  the 
hand  of  Brigadier  General,  James  Wilkerson,  as  a  considera 
tion  in  full  for  the  confirmation  of  the  above  concession,  the 
following  articles,  viz.;  fifteen  pieces  of  strands,  three  rifles, 
one  hundred  and  fifty  blankets,  two  hundred  and  fifty  pounds 
of  powder,  two  hundred  and  fifty  pounds  of  lead,  one  bridle, 
and  man's  saddle,  and  one  black  silk  handkerchief.  (Thus 
we  have  an  exhibition  of  the  wonderful  generosity  expressed 
in  the  Government's  reiterated  "To  give  peace  to  all  the 
Choctaw  nation,"  and  the  meaning  of  "and  receive  them  into 
favor  and  protection  of  the  United  States  of  America," 
Wonderful  protection!  to  take  advantage  of  their  ignorance 
in  the  value  of  their  lands,  and  disposses  them  of  hundreds 
of  thousands  of  acres  for  a  few  pounds  of  powder  and  lead, 
a  few  blankets,  a  saddle  and  bridle,  and  lastly  though  not 
least,  "one  black  silk  handkerchief." 

Mingo  Pooscoos,  his  x  mark. 
Alatala  Hooma,  his  x  mark. 
Commissioners  of  the  Choctaw  nation. 
Corrupted:       Pio     Mingo,     his      x     mark          Original:' 
Pin  Miko.     Our  chief. 

Corrupted:     Pasa  Mastubby  Mingo,  his  x  mark.     Origi- 


nal:     Pisahmiahubih    Miko,    (pro.  Pe-sah-me-ah-ub-ih   Miko. 
To  see,  go  ahead  and  kill  the  chief.) 

In  November,  1805,  another  portion  of  their  country  was 
ceded  to  the  United  States;  and  in  October,  1816,  still  another 
portion;  and  October  18,  1820,  another  portion  was  ceded  for 
and  in  consideration  of  a  tract  of  country  west  of  the  Missis 
sippi  river,  being  between  the  Arkansas  and  Red  rivers,  the 
lines  of  which  were  to  be  ascertained  and  distinctly  marked, 
by  commissioners  for  that  purpose,  to  be  accompanied  by 
such  persons  as  the  Choctaws  might  select.  Again,  January 
20th,  1825,  they  ceded  another  portion  of  their  lands,  east  of 
the  Mississippi  river,  to  the  United  States.  Then  in  Sep 
tember,  1830,  the  climax  of  the  white  man's  greediness  as 
far  as  the  Choctaws  w.ere  involved,  was  reached,  by  forcing 
that  people  to  cede  the  last  acre  of  land  they  possessed  east 
of  the  Mississippi  river.  And  thus  by  hypocrisy,  deception, 
fraud,  misrepresentation  and  unblushing  falsehood,  has  the 
octopus  arm  of  white  avarice  seized  in  its  insatiable 
embrace  the  Indians'  country  from  Maine  to  California,  un 
til  scarcely  enough  is  left  them  upon  which  to  eke  out  a  mis 
erable  existence;  and  yet,  year  by  year,  generation  by 
generation,  the  grasp  widens  and  tightens,  and  creeps  fur 
ther  and  futrher  upon  them  until  with  its  stiff-necked,  in 
corrigible  brutishness,  its  hissing  is  heard,  throughout  the 
length  and  breadth  of  the  land,  vibrating  upon  that  harp  of  a 
thousand  strings  that  still  remains  in  tune  to  the  same  old 
howl  "Open  to  white  settlement,  open  up  to  white  settle 



Thomas  Jefferson,  President  of  the  United  States  of 
America,  by  James  Robertson,  of  Tennessee,  Silas  Dins- 
more,  of  New  Hampshire,  agent  of  the  United  States  to  the 
Choctaws,  commissioners  plenipotentiary  of  the  United 
States,  on  the  one  part,  and  [the  Mingoes,  chiefs,  and  war 
riors  of  the  Choctaw  Nation  of  Indians,  in  council  assembled 
on  the  other  part,  have  entered  into  the  following  agree 
ment,  viz. : 

Article  1st. — The  Mingoes,  chiefs,  and  warriors,  of  the 
Choctaw  Nation  of  Indians,  in  behalf  of  themselves  and  the 
said  Nation,  do,  by  these  presents,  cede  to  the  United  States 
of  America,  all  the  lands  to  which  they  now  have  or  ever  had 


claim,  lying- to  the  right  of  the  following  lines;  to  say,  Be 
ginning  at  a  branch  of  theHumecheeto  (Cor.  of.Humma  chitoh, 
being  greatly  red),  where  the  same  is  intersected  by  the 
path  leading-  from  Natches  to  the  county  of  Washington, 
usually  called  McClary's  path,  thence  eastwardly  along 
McClar^y's  path,  to  the  east  or  left  bank  of  Pearl  river, 
thence  on  such  a  direct  line  as  would  touch  the  lower  end  of 
a  bluff  on  the  left  bank  of  Chickasaw  hay  river,  the  first 
above  the  JJiyoo  wunnee  (corruption  of  Hiohlib,  Standing, 
uni,  berries)  towns,  called  Broken  Bluff,  thence  in  a  direct 
line  nearly  parallel  with  the  river,  to  a  point  whence  an  east 
line  of  four  miles  in  length  will  intersect  the  river  below  the 
lowrest  settlement  at  present  occupied  and  improved  in  the 
Hiyoo  wunnee  town,  thence  still  east  four  miles,  thence  in  a 
direct  line  nearly  parallel  with  the  river  to  a  point  to  be  run 
from  the  lower  end  of  the  Broken  Bluff  to  Falukta  bunnee 
(corruption  of  Falakna,  a  fox  squirrel,  and  bunna,  one  who 
wants)  on  the  Tom  big-bee  riyer,  four  miles  from  the  Broken 
Bluff,  thence  along  the  said  line  to  Falukta  bunnee,  thence 
east  to  the  boundary  between  the  Creeks  and  Choctawrs  on 
the  ridge  dividing  the  waters  running  into  the  Alabama  from 
those  running-  into  the  Tombig'bee,  thence  southwardly  along 
the  said  ridge  and  boundary  to  the  southern  point  of  the 
Choctaw  claim.  Reserving-  a  tract  of  two  miles  square,  run 
on  meridians  an4  parallels,  so  as  to  include  the  houses  and 
improvements  in  the  town  of  Fuket  chee  poonta,  (corrup 
tion  of  Fakit  chipinta,  and  pr6.  as  Fah-kit  che-pin-tah,  Tur 
key  very  small),  and  reserving  also  a  tract  of  5120  acres,  be 
ginning  at  a  post  on  the  left  bank  of  Tombigbee  river  op 
posite  the  lower  end  of  Hatch  a  tigbee  (corruption  of  Ha- 
chotukni — pro.  Har-cho-tuk-nih,  Loggerhead  turtle)  Bluff, 
thence  ascending  the  river  four  miles  front  and  two  back  ; 
one  half  for  the  use  of  Alzira,  the  other  half  for  the  use  of 
Sophia,  daughters  of  Samuel  Mitchell,  by  Molly,  a  Choctaw 
woman.  The  latter  reserve  to  be  subject  to  the  same  laws 
and  regulations  as  may  be  established  in  the  circumjacent 
country;  and  the  said  Mingoes  of  the  Choctaw,  request  the 
government  of  the  United  States  to  confirm  the  title  of  this 
reserve  in  the  said  Alzira  an,d  Sophia. 

Article  2nd. — For  and  in  consideration  of  the  foregoing 
cession  on  the  part  of  the  Choctaw  Nation,  and  in  full  satis 
faction  for  the  same,  the  commissioners  of  the  United  States 
do  hereby  covenant  and  agree  with  the  said  Nation,  in  behalf 
of  the  United  States,  that  the  said  States  shall  pay  to  the  said 
Nation  fifty  thousand  and  five  hundred  dollars  for  the  follow 
ing  purposes,  to  wit,  forty-eight  thousand  dollars  to  enable 
the  Mingoes  to  discharge  the  debt  due  to  their  merchants  and 


traders  (thus  went  the  poor  Choctaws'  land  and  money,  to  a 
set  of  white  sharpers;)  and  also  pay  for  the  depredations 
committed  on  stock  and  other  property,  by  evil  disposed 
persons  of  the  said  Choctaw  Nation;  (but  who  were  the  "evil 
disposed  persons  of  the  said  Choctaw  Nation"?  No  other 
than  the  white  refugees  from  the  violated  laws  of  the  States, 
who  had  fled  to  the  Choctaw  Nation,  and  of  whose  character 
the  Choctaws  were  wholly  ignorant;  they  stole  horses  and 
kille.d  cattle,  not  belonging  to  the  Choctaws  for  they  feared 
them,  but  belonging  to  the  white  traders,  who  charged 
up  their  losses,  duly  exaggerated,  to  the  Choctaws,  thus 
they  were  swindled  and  robbed  by  the  shrewd,  but  not  too 
honest,  white  traders  through  a  credulous  government — the 
truth  in  a  nut  shell.) 5 twenty-five  hundred  dollars  to  be  paid 
to  John  Pitchlynn,  to  compensate  him  for  certain  losses  sus 
tained  in  the  Choctaw  Country,  and  as  a  grateful  testimonial 
of  the  Nation's  esteem.  And  the  said  States  shall  also  pay 
annually  to  the  said  Choctaws,  for  the  use  of  the  Nation, 
three  thousand  dollars,  in  such  goods  (at  net  cost  in  Phila 
delphia)  as  the  Mingoes  may  choose,  they  giving  at  least  one 
year's  notice  of  such  choice. 

Article  3d.— The  commissioners  of  the  United  States, 
on  the  part  of  the  said  States,  engage  to  give  to  each  of  the 
three  great  medal  Mingoes  Puckshuiinubbee  (corruption  of 
Apucksheubih)  Mingo  Hoomastubbee  (corruption  of  Humma- 
ubi,  Red  Killer)  and  Poosshamattaha  (corruption  of  Anuma- 
ishtayaubih,  a  messenger  of  death),  five  .hundred  dollars,  in 
consideration  of  past  services  in  their  Nation,  and  also  to  pay 
to  each  of  them  an  annuity  of  one  hundred  and  fifty  dollars 
during  their  continuance  in  office.  It  is  perfectly  under 
stood,  that  neither  of  those  medal  Mingoes  is  to  share  any 
part  of  the  general  annuity  of  the  Nation. 

Article  4th. — The  Mingoes,  chiefs,  and  warriors  of  the 
Choctaws,  certify  that  a  tract  of  land,  not  exceeding  fifteen 
hundred  acres,  situated  between  the  Tombigbee  river  and 
Jackson's  creek,  the  front  or  river  line  extending  down  the 
river  from  a  blazed  white  oak,  standing  on  the  left  bank  of 
the  Tombigbee,  near  the  head  of  the  shoal,  next  above  Ho- 
bukenloopa  (corruption  of  Hobachit  Yukpa,  a  laughing 
echo),  and  claimed  by  John  McGrew,  was,  in  fact,  granted  to 
the  said  McGrew  by  Opiomingo  Hesmitta,  (corruption  of  the 
words  Hopoamikohimmittah,  The  hungry  young  chief)  and 
others,  many  years  ago,  and  they  respectfully  request  the 
government  of  the  'United  States  to  establish"  the  claim  of 
the  said  McGrew  to  the  said  fifteen  hundred  acres. 

Article  5th. — The 'two  contracting  parties  covenant  and 
agree,  that  the  boundary,  as  described  in  the  second  article, 


shall  be  ascertained  and  plainly  marked,  in  such  way  and 
manner  as  the  President  of  the  United  States  may  direct,  in 
the  presence  of  three  persons  to  be  appointed  by  the  said 
Nation;  one  from  each  of  the  great  medal  districts,  each  of 
whom  shall  receive  for  their  service  two  dollars  per  day  for 
his  actual  attendance;  and  the  Choctaws  shall  have  due  and 
reasonable  notice  of  the  place  where,  and  time  when  'the 
operation  shall  commence. 

The  first  article  is  presumed  to  be  meant.  The  second 
does  not  designate  a  boundary : 

Article  6th. — The  lease  granted  for  establishments  on 
the  roads  leading-  through  the  Choctaw  country,  is  hereby 
confirmed  in  all  its  conditions;  and,  except  in  the  alteration 
of  boundary,  nothing-  in  the  instrument  shall  affect  or  change 
any  of  the  pre-existing-  obligation  of  the  cortracting  parties. 

Article  7th. — This  treaty  shall  take  effect  and  become 
reciprocally  obligatory  so  soon  as  the  same  shall  have  been 
ratified  by  the, President  of  the  United  States  of  America,  by 
and  with  the  advice  and  consent  of  the  Senate  of  the  United 

Done  on  Mount  Dexter,  in  Pooshapukanuk  (corruption 
of  Pashiakona,  Unto  the  dust)  in  the  Choctaw  country,  this 
the  6th  of  November,  1805,  and  of  the  independence  of  the 
United  States  of  America  the  thirtieth.  ' 


Puchunmibbee,  his  x  mark 
Mingo  Hoomastubbe,  his  x  mark, 
Pooshamattah,  his  x  mark, 

Great  Medal  Mingoes. 
Chiefs  and  Warriors: — 

Corruption  Ookchummee,  his  x  mark;  original,  Okchulih, 
Tiller  of  the  land, 

Corruption  Tushamiuboee,  his  x  mark;  Tusuhahmutu- 
bih,  to  whoop  and  also  kill,  and  thirty-one  others. 



A  treaty  of  cession  between  the   United   States   of   America 

and  the  Choctaw  Nation  of  Indians. 

James  Madison,  President  of  the  United  States  of  Amer 
ica,    by    General    Coffee,    John    Rhea,    and    John    McKee, 

112  HISTORY    OF    THE    INDIANS. 

Esquires,  commissioners  on  the  part  of  the  United  States, 
duly  authorized  for  that  purpose,  on  the  one  part,  and  the 
Mingoes,  leaders,  Captains,  and  warriors,  of  the  Choctaw 
Nation,  in  general  council  assembled,  in  behalf  of  themselves 
and  the  whole  Nation,  on  the  other  part,  have  entered  into 
the  following-  articles,  which,  when  ratified  by  the  President 
of  the  United  States,  with  the  advice  and  consent  of  the  Sen 
ate,  shall  be  obligatory  on  both  parties: 

Article  Isti — The  Choctaw  Nation,  for  the  consideration 
hereafter  mentioned,  cede  to  the  United  States  all  their  title 
and  claim  to  land  lying1  east  of  the  following1  boundary, 
beginning-  at  the  mouth  of  Oaktibuha  (corruption  of  O-ka, 
water,  it-tib-ih,  having  fought)  river,  the  Chickasaw  boun 
dary,  and  running  thence  down  the  Tombigbee  river,  until  it 
intersects  the  northern  boundary  of  a  cession  made  to  the 
United  States  by  the  Choctaws  at  Mount  Dexter,  on  the  16th 
of  November,  1805. 

Article  2nd. — In  consideration  of  the  foregoing  cession, 
the  United  States  engage  to  pay  to  the  Choctaw  Nation  the 
sum  of  six  thousand  dollars  annually,  for  twenty  years;  they 
also  agree  to  pay  them  in  merchandize,  to  be  delivered  imme 
diately  on  signing  the  present  treaty,  the  sum  of  ten  thou 
sand  dollars. 

Thus  we  again  see  the  Choctaws  swindled  out  of  their 
lands,  by  getting  only  as  many  thousands  of  dollars  for  their 
lands  as  they  were  worth  in  as  many  millions.  But  we  had 
taken  them  under  our  fatherly  protection,  and,  as  a  matter 
of  course,  they  must  pay  for  so  great  a  favor  and  so  great  a 

Done  and  executed  in  full  and  open  council,  (but  by 
much  misrepresentation  and  dissimulation,  as  will  be  here 
after  shown)  at  the  Choctaw  trading  house,  October  24th, 
1816,  and  of  the  independence  of  the  United  States  the  forty- 
first.  JOHN  COFFEE, 

Mushoolatubbe,  his  x  mark, 
Pooshamallaha,  his  x  mark, 
Pukshunnubbee,  his  x  mark, 


CONCLUDED,  OCTOBER    18,    1820,     BETWEEN    THE    CHOCTAW 

A  treaty  of  friendship,  limits  and  accommodation,  be 
tween  the  United  States  of  America  and  the  Choctaw  Nation 


of  Indians,  began  and    concluded    at   the   treaty   ground,'   in 
said  nation,  near  Doak's  Stand,  on  the  Natchez  road. 

Preamble:  Whereas,  it  is  an  important  object  with  the 
President  of  the  United  States,  to  promote  the  civilization  of 
the  Choctaw  Indians,  by  the  establishment  of  schools 
amongst  them;  and  to  perpetuate  them  as  a  nation,  by  ex 
changing,  for  a  small  part  of  their  land  here,  a  country  be 
yond  the  Mississippi  river,  where  all,  who  live  by  hunting, 
and  will  not  work,  may  be  collected  and  settled  together: 
And  whereas,  it  is  desirable  to  the  State  of  Mississippi,  to 
obtain  a  small  part  of  the  land  belonging  to  said  nation;  for 
the  mutual  accommodation  of  the  parties,  and  for  securing 
the  happiness  and  protection  of  the  whole  Choctaw  nation, 
as  well  as  preserving  that  harmony  and  friendship  which  so 
happily  subsists  between  them  and  the  United  States,  James 
Monroe,  President  of  the  United  States  of  America,  by 
Andrew  Jackson,  of  the  State  of  Tennessee,  Major  General 
in  the  army  of  the  United  States,  and  General  Thomas 
Hinds,  of  the  State  of  Mississippi,  commissioners  plenipo 
tentiary  of  the  United  States,  on  the  one  part,  and  the  Min- 
goes,  head  men,  and  warriors,  of  the  Choctaw  Nation,  in  full 
council  assembled,  on  the  other  part,  hav&  freely  and  volun 
tarily  entered  into  the  following  articles,  viz.:  to  promote  the 
civilization  of  the  Choctaw  Indians,  by  the  establishment  of 
schools  among  them,  and  to  perpetuate  them  as  a  Nation, 
and  securing  the  happiness  of  the  whole  Choctaw  Nation: 

Article  1st. — To  enable  the  President  of  the  United 
States  to  carry  into  effect  the  above  grand  and  humane  ob 
ject,  the  Mingoes,  head  men,  and  warriors,  of  the  Choctaw 
Nation  in  full  council, assembled,  in  behalf  of  themselves  and 
said  Nation,  do,  by  these  presents,1  cede  to  the  United 
States  of  America,  all  the  land  lying  and  being  within  the 
boundaries  following,  to-wit:  Beginning  on.  the  Choctaw 
boundary,  eastpfPearl'river,'at  a  point  due  south  of  the  White 
Oak  spring,  on  the  old  Indian  path;  thence  north  to  said 
spring;  thence  northwardly  to  a  black  oak,  standing  on  the. 
Natchez  road,  about  forty  poles  eastwardly  from  Doak's 
fence,  marked  A.  J.  and  blazed;  thence,  a  straight  line  to  the 
head  of  Black  Creek,  or  Bogue  Loosa  (original  Bok  Lusa), 
thence,  down  Black  Creek,  or  Bogue  Loosa,  to  a  small  lake; 
thence,  a  direct  course,  so  as  to  strike  the  Mississippi  o'rre- 
mile  below  the  mouih  of  the  Arkansas  river;  thence,  down 
the  Mississippi  to  our  boundary;  thence,  around  and  along 
the  same  to  the  beginning. 

Article  3rd. — ,  To  prevent  any  dispute  upon  the  sub 
ject  of  the  boundary  mentioned  in  the  First  and  Second 
Articles,  it  is  hereby  stipulated  between  the  parties,  that 


the  same  shall  be  ascertained  and  distinctly  marked  by  a 
commissioner,  or  commissioners,  to  be  appointed  by  -the 
United  States,  accompanied  by  such  person  as  the  Choctaw 
Nation  may  select ;  said  Nation  having-  thirty  days  previous 
notice  of  the  time. and  place  at  which  the  operation  will  com 
mence.  The  person  so  chosen  by  the  Choctaws,  shall  act  as 
a  pilot  or  guide,  for  which  the  United  States  will  pay  him 
two  dollars  per  day,  whilst  actually  engaged  in  the  performa- 
tion  of  that  duty. 

Article  4th.  The  boundaries  hereby  established  be 
tween  the  Choctaw  Indians  and  the  United  States,  011  this 
side  of  the  Mississippi  river,  shall  remain  without  alteration 
until  the  period  at  which  said  Nation  shall  become  so  civiliz 
ed  and  enlightened  as  to  be  made  citizens  of  the  United  States, 
and  Congress  shall  lay  off  a  limited  parcel  of  land  for  the 
benefit  of  each  family  included  in  the  Nation. 

Yet,  that  "period  at  which  said  nation  shall  become  so 
civilized  and  enlightened  as  to  be  made  citizens  of  the  United 
States,"  never  was  realized,  since  "the  boundaries"  did 
not  "remain  without  alteration"  by  the  open  violation  of  said 
4th,  article  on  the  part  of  the  United  States,  as  will  be  fully 
shown  and  established;  proving  that  our  professed  desire 
and  vociferous  declarations,  concerning  the  civilization,  the 
moral  and  intellectual  interest  of  the  Choctaws,  were  myths, 
palpable  falsehoods,  assumed  and  practised  to  deceive  the 
Choctaws  and  thereby  take  advantage  of  their  credulity,  as  it 
is  manifested  even  unto  the  present  day  with  unblushing 
boldness  in  our  dealing  with  the  entire  Indian  race,  feeling 
the  reproof  of  conscience  in  our  injustice  and  inhumanity  to 
that  unfortunate  and  helpless  people,  and  our  determination 
to  rob  them  of  their  last  acre  of  land,  as  a  wave  separated  for 
a  moment  by  the  course  of  a  ship  that  passes  through  it. 

Article  5th.— For  the  purpose  of  aiding  and  assisting  the 
poor  Indians,  who  wish  to  remove  to  the  country  hereby 
ceded  on  the  part  of  the  United  States,  and  to  enable  them  to 
do  well  and  support  their  families,  the  commissioners  of  the 
United  States  engage,  in  behalf  of  said  States,  to  give  to  each 
warrior  a  blanket,  kettle,  rifle  gun,  bullet  mould  and  nip 
pers,  and  ammunition  for  hunting  and  defence,  for  one  year. 
Said  warrior  shall  also  be  supplied  with  corn  to  support  him 
and  his  family,  for  the  same  period,  and  whilst  travelling  to 
the  country  above  ceded  to  the  Choctaw  Nation."  (Mirabile 
dictu!  When  before,  in  all  the  annals  of  time,  was  there 
such  a  display  of  munificence  in  the  simple  manifestation  of 
an  expressed  desire  "to  promote  the  civilization  of  the  Chot- 
taw  Indians,  and  for  securing  their  happiness  and  protec 
tion."  The  bestowal  of  "a  blanket,  kettle,  rifle  gun,  bullet 


mould  and  nippers."  Wonderful!  Indeed,  did  not  the 
angels  of  heaven  look  with  profound  astonishment  at  such  a 
display  of  human  magnanimity  in  its  effort  "to  promote  the 
civilization  of  the  Choctaw  Indians,"  and  bring-  them  into  the 
folds  of  Christianity?  Surely  the  devil  may  give  up  his  chase 
after  the  souls  of  the  Choctaws,  since  they  have  such  a  lov 
ing  and  powerful  protector  in  the  United  States  of  America. 
Magnanimous  United  States  !  Well  may  we  make  the  welkin 
ring  with  our  huzzas  of  Liberty,  freedom  and  equal  rights  to 
all  people  of  earth's  remotest  bound,  when  in  the  magnani 
mity  of  our  Christian  zeal  "to  promote  the  civilization  of  the 
Choctaws,"  we  made  that  munificent  bequest  of  "a  blanket, 
flap,  kettle,  rifle  gun,  bullet  moulds  and  nippers."  and  then 
drove  them  to  that  distant  wilderness,  as  far  from  the  means 
of  being  benefitted  by  the  influences  of  Christianity  as  we 
could  drive  them,  there  to  be  civilized  and  Christianized  by 
our  remarkable  munificent  gifts.) 

Article  6th. — The  commissioners  of  the  United  States' 
further  covenant  and  agree,  on  the  part  of  said  States,  that 
an  agent  shall  be  appointed,  in  due  time,  for  the  benefit  of  the 
Choctaw  Indians  who  may  be  permanently  settled  in  the 
country  ceded  to  them  beyond  the  Mississippi  river,  and,  at 
a  convenient  period,  a  factor  shall  be  sent  there  with  goods, 
to  supply  their  wants.  A  blacksmith  shall  also  be  settled 
amongst  them,  at  a  point  most  convenient  to  the  population; 
and  a  faithful  person  appointed,  whose  duty  it  shall  be  to 
use  every  reasonable  exertion  to  collect  all  the  wandering 
Indians  belonging  to  the  Choctaw  Nation,  upon  the  land 
hereby  provided  for  their  permanent  settlement. 

Article  7th. — Out  of  the  lands  ceded  by  the  Choctaw 
Nation  to  the  United  States,  the  commissioners  aforesaid,  in 
behalf  of  said  States,  further  covenant  and  agree  that  fifty- 
four  sections  of  one  mile  square  shall  be  laid  out  in  good 
land,  by  the  President  £>f  the  United  States,  and  sold,  for  the 
purpose  of  raising  a  fund,  to  be  applied  to  the  support  of  the 
Choctaw  schools,  on  both  sides  of  the  Mississippi  river. 
Three-fourths  of  said  fund  shall  be  appropriated  for  the 
benefit  of  the  schools  here;  and  the  remaining  fourth  for  the 
establishment  of  one  or  more  beyond  the  Mississippi;  the 
whole  to  be  placed  in  the  hands  of  the  President 
of  the  United  States,  and  to  be  applied  by  him, 
expressly  and  exclusively,  to  this  valuable  object. 
(But  what  was  the  result  of  this  appropriation  "fifty- 
four  sections"  of  their  land  to  the  establishing  and 
supporting  "of  the  Choctaw  schools,  on  both  sides  of  the' 
Mississippi  river."  In  ten  years  after,  when  hundreds  of 
dollars,  proceeds  of  the  sale  of  the  fifty-four  sections  of  their 


own  lands,;  had  been  used  in  establishing'  schools,  and  these 
schools  were  nourishing-  all  over  their  country,  I  speak  of 
that  east  of  the  Mississippi  river,  and  though,  in  spite  of 
embarrassments,  adversities  and  misfortunes,  they  \vere 
making-  the  most  rapid  progress  in  civilization  and  Chris 
tianity,  a  quietus  was  placed  upon  everything-  by  the  United 
States  forcing'  them  to  sell  their  entire  land  possessions  to 
them,  and  driving-  them,  by  the  unmerciful  hand  of  arbitrary 
power,  to  the  distant  wilderness  in  the  west  where  they  had 
driven  the  former,  there  to  civilize  themselves  by  means  of 
a  "blanket,  flap,  kettle,  rifle  g"un,  moulds  and  nippers, 'v 
while  their  schools  and  the  "fifty-four  sections  of  land"  be 
came  thing's  of  the  past  to  the  Choctaw,  to  be  heard  of  no 
more  by  them  ;  and  thus  we  sacrificed  this  trusting-  people, 
our  faithful  allies,  to  our  avarice,  more  odious  in  all  its  feat 
ures  than  even  the  nefarious  proposal  which  Themistocles 
sug-g-ested  to  Aristides,  of  burning"  the  ships  of  the  allies  at 
the  very  time  in  which  they  were  engaged  in  fighting 
for  the  common  liberties  of  Greece;  since  he  was  blinded 
by  the  glare  of  military  glory,  but  we  by  a  sordid,  debas 
ing  and  degrading  avarice. 

Article  8th. — To  remove  any  discontent  which  may  have 
arisen  in  the  Choctaw  Nation,  in  consequence  of  six  thousand 
dollars  of  their  annuity  having'  been  appropriated  annually 
for  sixteen  years^by  some  of  their  chiefs,  for  the  support  of 
their  schools,  the  commissioners  of  the  United  States  oblige 
themselves,  on  the  part  of  said  States,  to  set  apart  an  addi 
tional  tract  of  land,  for  raising*  a  fund  equal  to  that  given  by 
said  chiefs,  so  that  the  whole  of  the  annuity  may  remain  in 
the  Nation,  and  be  divided  amongst  them.  And  in  order 
that  exact  justice  may  be  done  to  the  poor  and  distressed  of 
said  Nation,  it  shall  be  the  duty  of  the  agent  to  see  that,  the 
wants  of  every  deaf,  dumb,  blind,  ,and  distressed  Indian, 
shall  be  first  supplied  out  of  said  annuity,  and  the  balance 
equally  distributed  amongst  every  individual  of  said  Nation. 

Article  9th. — All  those  who  have  separate  settlements, 
and  fall  within  the  limits  of  the  land  added  by  the  Choctaw 
Nation  to  the  United  States,  and  who  desire  to  remain  where 
they  now  reside,  shall  be  secured  in  a.  tract  or  parcel  of  land 
one  mile  square,  to  include  their  improvements.  Any  one 
who  prefers  removing,  if  he  does  so  within  one  year  from 
the  date  of  this  treaty,  shall  be  paid  their  full  value,  to  be 
ascertained  by  two  persons  to  be  appointed  by  the  President 
of  the  United  States. 

Article  1.0th.— As  there  are  some  who  have  valuable 
buildings  on  the  roads  and  elsewhere,  should  they  remove,  it 
is  further  agreed  by  the  aforesaid  commissioners,  in  behalf 

HISTORY    OF    THE    INDIANS.  117 

of  the  United  States,  that  the  inconvenience  of  doing  so  shall 
be  considered,  and  such  allowance  made  as  will  amount  to  an 
equivalent.  For  this  purpose,  there  shall  be  paid  to  the 
Mingo  Puckshenubbe  (original,  A-pak-foh-li-chih-ubih),  five 
hundred  dollars;  to  Harrison,  two  hundred  dollars;  to  Cap 
tain  Cobb,  two  hundred  dollars;  to  William  Hays,  two  hun 
dred  dollars;  to  O'Gleno,  two  hundred  dollars;  and  to  all  oth 
ers  who  have  comfortable  houses,  a  compensation  in  the 
.same  proportion. 

Article  llth. — It  is  also  provided  by  the  commissioners 
of  the  United  States,  and  they  agree  in  behalf  of  said  States, 
that  those  Choctaw  chief  sand  warriors,  who  have  not  received 
compensation  for  their  services  during  the  campaign  to  Pen- 
sacola,  in  the  late  war,  shall  be  paid  whatever  is  due  them 
over  and  above  the  value  of  the  blanket,  shirt,  flap,  and  leg- 
gins,  which  have  been  delivered  to  them. 

Article  12th. — In  order  to  promote  industry  and  sobriety 
.-amongst  all  classes  of  the  Red  People  in  this  Nation,  but 
particularly  the  poor,  it  is  further  provided  by  the  parties 
that  the  agent  appointed  to  reside  here,  shall  be,  and  he  is, 
hereby,  vested  with  the  full  power  to  seize  and  confiscate  all 
the  whiskey  which  may  be  introduced  into  said'  Nation,  ex 
cept  that  used  at  public  stands,  or  brought  in  by  the  per 
mit  of  the  agent,  or  the  principal  chiefs  of  the  three  dis 

Thus  was  the  law  of  the  Choc  taws  forbidding  the  intro 
duction  of  anv  kind  and  all  kinds  of  spirituous  liquors  into 
their  country  virtually  abrogated,  and  their  strenuous  efforts 
to  keep  the  hideous  hydra  in  its  proper  place,  among  its 
makers  and  worshippers  (the  white  man)  proved  unavailing 
as  the  door  was  thus  opened  for  the  white  smugglers — of 
whom  the  agents  were  leaders. 

Article  13th. — To  enable  the  Mingoes,  chiefs,  and  head 
men/  of  the  Choctaw  Nation,  to  raise  and  organize  a  corps  of 
light  horse,  consisting  of  ten  in  each  district,  so  that  good 
order  may  be  maintained,  and  that  all  men,  both  White  and 
Red,  may  be  compelled  to  pay  their  debts,  it  is  stipulated 
and  agreed,  that  the  sum  of  two  hundred  dollars  shall  be  ap 
propriated  by  the  United  States,  for  each  district,  annually, 
and  placed  in  the  hands  of  the  agent,  to  pay  the  expenses  in 
curred  in  raising  and  establishing  said  corps;  which  is  to 
act  as  executive  officers,  in  maintaing  good  order,  and  com 
pelling  bad  men  to  remove  from  the  Nation,  who  are  not 
authorized  to  live  in  it  by  a.  regular  permit  from  the  agent. 

Article  14th. — Whereas  the  father  of  the  beloved  chief 
Mushulatubbee  (original  Mosholatubil,  with  whom  I  was 
personally  acquainted),  of  the  lower  towns,  for  and  during  his 


life,  did  receive  from  the  United  States  the  sum  of  one  hun 
dred  arid  fifty  dollars,  annually;'  it  is  hereby  stipulated,  that 
his  son  and  successor  Mushulatubbee,  shall  annually  be  paid 
the  same  amount  during  his  natural  life,  to  commence  from 
the  ratification  of  this  treaty.  * 

Article'  15th. — The  peace  and  harmony  subsisting-  be- 
tw.een  the  Choctaw  Nation  of  Incfians  and  the  United  States, 
are  'hereby  renewed,  continued,  and  declared  to  be  perpet 

Article  16th. — These  articles  shall  take  effect,  and  be 
come  obligatory  on  the  contracting  parties,  so  soon  as  the 
same  shall  be  ratified  by  the  President,  by  and  with  the  'ad 
vice  and  consent  of  the  Senate  of  the  United  States. 

In  testimony  whereof,  the  commissioners  plenipoten 
tiary  of  the  United  States  and  the  Mingoes,  headmen  and 
warriors  of  the  Choctaw  Nation,  have  hereunto  subscribed 
their  names  and  affixed  their  seals,  at  the  place  above  writ 
ten,  this  the  18th,  of  October,  1820,  and  of  the  independence 
of  the  United  States  the  forty  fifth. 


Medal  Mingoes:— 

Corrupted:  Puckshenubbee,  his  x  mark.  Original: 

Corrupted:  Poohawattaha,  his  x  mark.  Original:  Ar- 
noom-pah-ish-tam-yah-ub-ih . 

One  hundred  and  twenty-eight  names  of  Choctaws,  who 
signed  this  treaty  are  omitted. 



The  petition  of  the  Attorney-General  of  the  United 
States  affirms  that  according  to  the  treaty  of  Feb.  22,  1819 
made  by  the  United  States  and  the  King  of  Spain,  which  was 
ratified  two  years  later,  and  so  proclaimed  by  both  the  Uni 
ted  States  and  Spain,  and  that  by  the  third  article  of  the 
treaty  it  was  provided  and  agreed  that  "the  boundary  line 
between  the  two  countries  west  of  the  Mississippi  River 
shall  begin  on  the  Gulf  of  Mexico  at  the  mouth  of  the  Sabine 
River,  in  the  sea,  continuing  north'  along  the,' western  bank 
of  that  river  to  the  thirty-second  degree  of  latitude;  thence  by 
a  line  due  north  to  the'*degree  of  latitude  where  it  strikes  the- 


Rio  Roxo  of  Natchitoches  or  Red  River;  then  following"  the 
course  of  the  Rio  Roxo  westward  to  the  degree  of  longitude 
100  west  from  London  and  23  from  Washington;  then  cross 
ing  the  said  Red  River  and  running  thence  by  a  line  due 
north  to  the  river  Arkansas:  thence  following  the  course  of 
the  southern  bank  of  the  Arkansas  to  its  source  in  latitude  42 
north,  and  thence  by  that  parallel  of  latitude  to  the  South 
Sea.--  The  whole  being  as  laid  down  in  Melish's  map  of  the 
United  States,  published  at  Philadelphia,  improved  to  Jan 
uary,  1,  1818. 

"The  two  high  contracting  parties  agreeing  to  cede  and 
renounce  all  their  rights,  claims  and  pretensions  to  the  ter 
ritories  described  by  the  said  line.  That  is  to  say,  the 
United  States  hereby  cede  to  his  Catholic  majesty  and  re 
nounce  forever  all  their  claims,  rights,  and  pretensions  to 
the  territories  lying  west  and  south  of  the  above  described 
line,  and  in  like  manner  his  Catholic  majesty  cedes  to  the 
United  States  all  his  rights,  claims  and  pretensions  to  any 
territories  east  and  north  of  the  said  line,  and  for  himself, 
his  heirs  and  successors-  renounces  all  claim  to  the  said  ter 
ritory  forever." 

"The  petition  states  that  at  the  date  of  the  conclusion  of 
the  treaty  aforesaid  Mexico  constituted  a  part  of  the  Spanish 
monarchy,  but  that  Mexico,  subsequently,  in  the  year 
1824,  became  and  was  established  as  a  separate  and  indepen 
dent  power  and  government,  and  the  boundary  line  defined 
and  designated  in  the  treaty  of  1819,  aforesaid,  thereby  be 
came  in  part  the  boundary  line  between  the  United  States 
and  Mexico,  all  the  territory  of  the  state  of  Texas  being*  then 
a  part  of  the  Mexican  territory. 

"The  Attorney  General's  petition  to  the  court  then  goes 
on  to  review  the  different  movements  of  the  United  States 
and  Texas  commissioners  to  establish  the  line  between  the 
disputed  territory,  and  which  all  resulted  in  a  failure  -to 

"The  Attorney  General  further  states  that  the  said 
state  of  Texas  has,  without  any  right  or  title  thereto,  claimed, 
taken  possession  of,  and  endeavored  to  extend  its  laws  and 
jurisdiction  over  the  said  parcel  or  tract  of  land  herein  'be 
fore  described,  and  does  still  claim,  hold  possession  of,  and 
exercise  certain  jurisdiction  over  the  same,  and  has  excluded 
the  United  States  from  possession  of  and  jurisdiction  over 
the  same  in  violation  of  the  treaty  rights  of  your  oratrix  as 
aforesaid;  all  of  which  your  oratrix  charges  is  a  manifest  in 
vasion  of  her  sovereign  rights  and  tends  to  the  disturbance 
of  that  amity  and  peace  which  ought  to  exist  between  the 
authorities  of  the  United  States  and  the  state  of  Texas. 

120  __        .HISTORY.  OF   THE   INDIANS. 

\  "The  area  of  the  disputed  territory  is  one  million,  five 
hundred  and  eleven  thousand,  five  hundred  and  seventy  six 
and  seventeen  one  hundreds  acres, of  land. 

"The  petition  futher  states  that  the  south  fork  of  Red 
river  as  now  named  and  delineated  on  the  maps,  is  the  Rio 
Roxo  or  Red  river  delineated  on  Melish's  maps,  described  in 
the  treaty  of  February,  22,  1819,  and  as  the  boundary  line  of 
said  treaty  to  the  point  where  the  100th  degree  of  west  longi 
tude  crosses  the  same. 

''And  your  oratrix  futher  states  that  under  and  by  virtue 
of  the  terms  of  the  treaty  of  1819,  between  the  United  States 
and  Spain,  she  became  entitled  to  possession  of  and  jurisdic 
tion  over  all  that  parcel  or  tract  of  land  which  lies  between 
what  has  been  herein  designated  as  the  Prairie  Dog"  town 
fork  or  Main  Red  river,  and  the  north  fork  or  Red  river, 
and  is  more  accurately  described  as  the  extreme  portion  of 
the  Indian  territory  lying  west  of  the  north  fork  of  Red 
river,  and  east  of  the  one  hundreth  meridian  of  west 
longitude  from  Greenwich;  that  she  has  never  voluntarily 
abandoned  or  relinquished  such  claim  to  title  and  jurisdic 
tion,  but  has  continually  asserted  the  same  at  all  times  since 
the  ratification  of  said  treaty  of  1819  up  to  the  present  time, 
and  does  still  assert  the  the  same;  that  said  tract  of  land  was 
never  subject  to  the  jurisdiction  or  claim  of  Spain  subsequent 
to  the  treaty  of  1819  aforesaid,  nor  was  it  subject  to  any  claim 
or  jurisdiction  on  the  part  of  Mexico  after  her  independence 
from  Spain  was  secured  and  asserted." 

The  following  clause  in  the  petition  of  the  Attorney-Gen 
eral  states  that  "in  consideration  whereof,  and  for  as  much 
as  your  oratrix  can  only  have  adequate  relief  in  the  premises 
in  a  court  of  equity;  where  matters  of  this  nature  are  prop 
erly  cognizable,  and  in  this  court  by  original  bill,  to  the 
end  for  the  purpose  of  determining  and  settling  the  true 
boundary  line  between  the'  United  -States  and  the  state  of 
Texas,  and  to  determine  and  put  at  rest  questions  whi^h 
now  exist  as  to  whether  the  Prairie  Dog  Town  fork  or  the 
North  fork  of  Red  river,  as  aforesaid,  constitutes  the  true 
boundary  line  of  the  treaty  of  1819,  aforesaid,  and  whether 
the  tract  or  parcel  of  land  lying'  and  being  between  two  said 
streams  and  called  by  the  authorities  of  the  state  of  Texas 
Greer  county,  is  within  the  boundary  and  jurisdiction  of  the 
United  States  or  of  the  state  of  Texas." 

Dr.  Gideon,  Lincicum  who  lived  in  Columbus, Miss,  several 
years  prior  to  the  exodus  of  the  Choctaws,  was  present  at 
the  treaty  held  by  General  Jackson  and  General  Hinds  at  a 
place  known  as  Doak's  Stand,  in  the  Choctaw  nation,  in  the 
fall  of  1820..  The  object  of  the  United  States  in  holding  this 


Ireaty  was  to  exchange  all  that  country  where  the  five  civil 
ized  tribes  now  reside  south  of  the  Canadian  River  for  a  strip 
of  territory  from  the  lower  and  western  part  of  the  then 
Choctaw  nation,  known  as  the  Huchchalusachitoh — pro.  as 
asHuch-chah  (River)  loo-sah  (black)  che-toh  (big-.)  i.  e.  Big 
Black  River  country.  A  great  many  Choctaw's  were  in  at 
tendance,  and  after  General  Jackson  had  read  the  commis 
sion  and  the  President's  letter  to  them,  in  a  lengthy  speech 
he  explained  the  object  and  purpose  for  which  they  had  been 
called  together.  He  declared  to  them,  that^  "to  promote 
their  civilization  by  the  establishing  of  schools  among  them, 
and  to  perpetuate  them  as  a  nation,  was  a  constant  solicitude 
with  the  president  of  the  United  States."  :  (But  the  sequel 
soon  proved  that  ''solicitude"  to  be  false.) 

"To  enable  the  President  to  effect  this  great  national 
.and  very  desirable  object  to  accommodate  the  growing  state 
of  Mississippi  ^and  thereby  secure  greater  safet}r  and  protec 
tion  to  the  Choctaws  and  their  'seminaries  of  learning  at 
home,  it  was  proposed  bv  him  to  exchange  for  a  small  part  of 
their  lands  here,  a  large  country  beyond  the  Mississippi 
river,  where  all  who  live  by  hunting  and  will  not  work,  and 
who  by  the  nature  of  their  mode  of  life  are  widely  scattered, 
may  be  collected  and  settled  together  in  a  country  of  tall 
trees,  many  water  courses,  rich  lands  and  high  grass, 
.abounding  in  game  of  all  kinds — buffalo,  bear  and  deer,  ante 
lope,  beaver,  turkeys,  honey,  and  fruits  of  many  kinds,  in 
this  great  hunting  ground  they  may  be  settled  near  together 
for  protection  and  to  be  able  to  pursue  their  peculiar  vocation 
without  dang-er. 

'Another  great  benefit  to  be  derived  from  this  arrange 
ment  would  be  the  removal  from  among  the  people  at  home 
who  are  alreadv  inclined  to  progress  and  civilization  of  the 
bad  -example  of  those  who,  in  their  wild  wandering  propensi 
ties  do  not  care  for  improvement.  The  project  recom 
mends  itself  to  the  thinking  portion  of  the  industrious  com 
munity,  while  it  will  provide  ample  means  for  the  protec 
tion  of  the  careless  stragglers  of  the  Nation. 

'The  tract  of  territory  which  the  President  proposes  to 
exchange  for  the  Big  Black  river  country  here,  lies  between 
the  Arkansas  and  Red  rivers.  It  is  a  large  and  extended 
country.  Beginning  where  the  lower  boundary  line  of  the 
Cherokees  strikes  the  Arkansas  river,  thence  up  the  Arkan 
sas  to  the  Canadian  river  fork;  thence  up  the  Canadian  to  its 
source,  thence  due  south  to  Red  river,  thence  down  Red  riv- 
«r  to  a  point  three  miles  below%  the  mouth  of  Little  river 
which  enters  into  Red  river  from  the  north,  thence  on  a  di 
rect  line  to  place  of  beginning. 

1-22  HISTORY    OF    THE   INDIANS. 

'This  extensive  rich  territory  is  offered  in  exchange  by 
the  President  for  the  little  strip  of  land  in  the  lower  part  of  the 
present  Choctaw  Nation.  It  is  a  much  larger  territory  than 
the  whole  of  your  possessions  this  side  of  the  Mississippi 
river,  and  is  certainly  a  very  liberal  proposition.  What  say 
the  chiefs  and  Choctaw  people  to  this  great  offer? 

"After  the  pipe  lighters  had  finished  handing  the  pipes- 
around  and  order  was  again  restored,  Apushamatahah  arose, 
and,  addressing  himself  to  his  own  people  first,  told  them 
the  man  who  had  just  finished  his  big  talk  was  the  great 
warrior,  General  Jackson,  of  whom  they  had  all  so  of  ten  heard. 
Many  of  them  had,  no  doubt,  seen  him  and,  like  himself,  had 
served  under  him  in  many  successful  battles.  His  great 
character  as  a  man  and  warrior,  in  addition  to  the  commis 
sion  he  bore  from  the  President  of  the  United  States,  de 
manded  from  the  Choctaw  people  respectful  replies  from  his. 
propositions,  and  for  that  purpose  he  moved  that  .the  council 
adjourn  until  the  middle  of  the  day,  to-morrow,  which  mo 
tion  was  carried  and  the  council  adjourned. 

"The  chiefs  and  head  men  went  into  secret  council  that 
night,  where  they  very  deliberately  discussed  the  merits  of 
the  propositions  that  "had  been  made  by  the  United  States 
commissioners.  They  considered  it  a  wise  and  benevolent 
proposition,  and,  notwithstanding  that  the  land  they  offered 
to  exchange  the  large  tract  of  western  territory  for  was- 
worth  more  to  them  at  this  time  than  two  such  countries  as 
the  one  they  were  offering,  with  the  Choctaws,  the  thing 
stood  very  differently,  particularly  in  relation  to  the  fixing 
of  a  home  for  our  wandering  hunters  in  the  midst  of  a  game- 
country.  However,  good  as  the  proposition  is,  we.  must  in 
this  case  adopt  the  white  man's  rules  in  the  transaction  and 
get  all  we  can  from  them.  General  Jackson  is  a  great  man, 
but  in  his  talk  in  making*  the  proposition  to  exchange  coun 
tries  he  has  been  guilty  of  misrepresentations  which  he 
knows  are  such,  and  others  which,  perhaps,  he  is  not  ap 
prised  of  their  being  false.  Our  plan  is  to  meet  him  in  the 
treaty  with  his  own  policy  and  let  the  hardiest  reap  the 
profits.  If  we  can  do  no  better  we  will  take  them  at  the  offer 
already  made."  "This  much  and  the  appointment  of  Apush 
amatahah  to  do  the  talking,  next  day  was  the  result  of  the 
secret  council. 

"When  at  12  o'clock  the  next  day  the  council 'had  assem 
bled,  the  commissioners  inquired  of  the  chiefs  if  they  liad 
come  to  an y  conclusion  on  the  subject  of  the  propositions 
made  to  them  yesterday  in  relation  to  the  exchange  of  coun 
tries?  Apushamatahah  arose  and  said  that  the  chiefs  and 
leaders  of  his  people  had  appointed  him  to  reply  to  the  com- 

/  HISTORY    OF    THE   INDIANS.  123 

missioners  on  the  subject.  He  remarked  that  he  fully  ap 
preciated  the  magnitude  of  the  proposition  and  his  incom- 
peteiicy  ito  do  it  justice,  especially  while  in  contact  with  two 
such  master  minds  as  he  would  have  to  deal  with.  He  fur 
ther  remarked  that  when  any  business  was  intended  to  be 
fairly  and  honestly  transacted  it  made  no  difference  as  to  the 
capacity  of  the  contracting-  parties.  One  party  might  be  a 
great  man  as  General  Jackson,  the  other  a  fool,  but  the  re 
sult  would  be  the  same.  The  wise  man  in  such  cases  would 
protest  the  rights  of  the  fool,  holding  him  firm  on  safe  gound. 
From  what  he  had  already  heard  he  had  discovered  that  the 
great  transaction  now  about  to  take  plnce  between  friendly 
nations,  was  not  to  be  conducted  on  those  equitable  princi 
ples,  and  that  it  would  not  be  safe  for  him,  fool  as  he  was,  to 
rely  upon  any  such  expectations.  He  was  to  come  to  the 
contest  with  such  powers  as  he  possessed,  do  the  best  he 
ould  ,  and  his  people  must  be  satisfied  and  abide  the  results 
nd  consequences. 

The  object  and  benefits  to  be  derived  by  the  United 
States  were  very  great  and  desirable,  or  they  would  not 
have  sent  two  of  their  greatest  warrior  generals  to  conduct 
the  treaty  in  their  behalf.  He  was  friendly  toward  the 
United  States,  and  particularly  to  their  two  distinguished 
agents,  for  he  had  served  under  them  and  side  by  side  in  the 
hour  of  peril  and  deadly  strife,  had  aided  them  in  the  acqui 
sition  of  Florida  and  a  considerable  portion  of  the  Muscogee 
country  with  his  manhood,  and  as  many  of  his  countrymen 
as  he  could  persuade  to  take  part  in  the  dangers  of  the  en 
terprise.  Under  all  these  considerations  he  intended  to 
strike  the  bargain  in  the  exchange  of  countries  with  them  if 
he  could.  He  thought  it  was  one  of  those  kind  of  swaps,  if 
it  could  be  fairly  made,  that  would  accommodate  both  par 
ties.  He  should  do  his  best,  and  he  hoped  to  succeed  in 
presenting  the  thing  in  such  a  form  as  to  convince  the  com 
missioners  that  'further  misrepresentation  would  be  entire 
ly  unnecessary. 'D He  then  sat  down. 

"General  Jackson  arose  and  gravely  remarked:  'Broth 
er  Push,  you  have  uttered  some  hard  words.  You  have  ac 
cused  me  of  misrepresentation,  and  indirectly,  of  the  desire 
to  defraud  the  red  people  in  behalf  of  my  government. 
These  are  heavy  charges,  charges  of  a  very  serious  charac 
ter.  You  must  explain  yourself  in  a  manner  that  will,  clear 
them  up  or  I  shall  quit  you.'  "Apushamatahah  then 'arose 
and  made  a  long  explanatory  speech,  but  its  length  precludes 
its  production  here. 

"The  closing  portion  was,  'I  shall  take  much  pleasure 
in.  my  explanation  to  render  a  plain  and  irrefutable  inter- 

124       .  HISTORY  OF  THE  INDIANS. 

pretation  of  what  I  have  said,  and  which  will  present  in  a 
very  clear  light  the  misrepresentations  in  relation  to  the 
quality  of  the  country  west  of  the  Mississippi  and  the  size  of 
the  country  on  this  side  of  the  great  river. 

'In  the  first  place,  he  speaks  of  the  country  you  wish  to 
obtain  in  the  swap  as  a  little  slip  of  land  at  the  lower  part  of 
ihe  present  Choctaw  Nation,  whereas  it  is  a  very  consider 
able  tract  of  country.  He  has  designated  the  boundaries  of 
it,  and  I  am  very  familiar  with  the  entire  tract  of  land  it  will 
cut  off  from  us.  * 

"In  the  second  place,  he  represents  the  country  he  wishes 
to  exchange  for  the  'little  slip'  as  being-  a  very  extensive 
country 'of  tall  trees,  many  water -courses,  rich  lands  and 
liigh  grass,  abounding  in -game  of  all  kinds,  buffalo,  bear, 
elk,  deer,  antelope,  beavers,  turkey,  honey  and  fruits  of 
many  kinds.'  I  am  also  well  acquainted  with  that  country. 
I  have  hunted  there  often,  have  chased  the  Comanche  and 
Wichita  over  those  endless  plains,  and  they  too  have  some 
times  chased  me  there.  I  know  the  country  well.  It  is  in 
deed  a  very  extensive  land,  but  a  vast  amount  of  it  is  poor 
and  sterile,  trackless  and  sandy  deserts,  nude  of  vegetation 
-of  any  kind.  As  to  tall  trees,  there  is  no  timber  anywhere, 
^except  on  the  bottom  lands,  and  it  is  low  and  brushy  even 
there.  The  grass  is  everywhere  short;  as  for  the  game,  it 
is  not  plenty,  except  buffalo  and  deer.  The  buffalo,  in  the 
western  portion  of  the  .tract  described,  and  on  the  great 
plains  into  which  it  reaches,  are  very  numerous  and  easily 
taken.  Antelopes,  too,  are  there,  and  deer  almost  every 
where,  except  in  the  dry  grassless;  sandy  desert  There 
are  but  few  elk,  and  the  bear  are  plenty  only  on  the  Red  riv 
er  bottom  lands.  Turkey  are  plentiful  on  all  the  water 
courses.  There  are,  however,  but  few  beaver,  and  fruit  and 
honey  are  a  rare  thing.  The  bottoms  on  the  river  are  gen- 
erally  good  soil,  but  liable  to  inundation  during  the  spring 
/•season,  and  in  summer  the  rivers  and  creeks  drv  up  or  be 
come  so  salty  that  the  water  is  unfit  for  use.  It  is  not  at  these 
times  always  salty,  but  often  bitter  and  will  purge  a  man 
like  medicine. 

'This  account  differs  widely  from  the  description  given 
by  my  friend  yesterday,  and  constitutes  what,  in  my  reply 
to  him,  I  styled  a  misrepresentation.  He  has  proven  to  me 
by  that  misrepresentation  and  one  great  error  that  he  is  en 
tirely  ignorant  of  the  geography  of  the  country  he  is  offering 
to  swap,  and  therefore  I  shall  acquit  him  of  an  intentional 
fraud.  The  testimony  that  he  bears  against  himself,  in  re 
gard  to  his  deficiency  of  a  knowledge  of  that  far-off  country 
manifests  itself  in  the  fact  that  he  has  offered  to  swap  to  me 

HISTORY    OF    THE    INDIANS.  \  125 

an  undefined  portion  of  Mexican  territory.  He  offers  to  run 
the  line  up  the  Canadian  river  to  its  source,  and  thence  due 
south  to  the  Red  river.  Now,  I  know  that  a  line  running" 
due  south  from  the  source  of  the  Canadian  would  never  touch 
any  portion  of  Red  river,  but  would  go  into  the  Mexican  pos 
sessions  beyond  the  limits  even  of  my  geographical  knowl 

"General  Jackson  interrupting  him,  said:  'See  here,. 
Brother  Push,  you  must  be  mistaken.  Look  at  this  map. 
It  will  prove  to  you  at  once  that  .you  are  laboring  under  a 
great  geographical  error  yourself,'  and  he  spread  out  the 

"Apushamataha  examined  it  very  minutely,  while 
General  Jackson  traced  out  and  read  the  names  of  the  rivers" 
for  him.  Apushamatahah  said:  'T#e  paper  is  not  true.' 
"He  then  proceeded  to  mark  out  on  the  ground  with  the 
handle  of  the  pipe  hatchet,  which  he  held  in  his  hand  while 
speaking,  the  Canadian  and  the  upper  branches  of  Red 
river,  and  said,  holding  the  end  of  the  hatchet  handle  on  the 
ground,  'there  is  the  north,'  then  rapidly  tracing  a  deep  line 
on  the  ground,  'here  is  the  south,  and,  you  see,  the  line  be 
tween  the  two  points  do  not  touch  any  portion  of  Red  river, 
and  I  declare  to  you  that  it  is  the  natural  position  of  the 
country  and  its  water  courses. ' 

"You  must  be  mistaken,  said  General  Jackson;  at 
any  rate,  I  am  willing1  to  make  good  the  proposition  I  have 

"Very  well,'  replied  Apushamataha,  'and  you  must 
not  be  surprised  nor  think  hard  of  me  if  I  call  your  attention 
to  another  subject  within  the  limits  of  the  country  you 
designate  west  of  the  Mississippi,  which  you  dp  not  seem  to 
be  apprised  of.  The  lower  portion  of  the  land  you  propose 
to  swap  to  us  is  a  prett}T  good  country.  It  is  true  that  as  high 
up  the  Arkansas  river  as  Fort  Smith  the  lands  are  good  and 
timber  and  water  plenty,  but  there  is  an  objectionable  diffi 
culty  in  the  way.  It  was  never  known  before,  in  any  treaty, 
made  by  the  United  States  with  the  Red  people,  that  their 
commissioners  were  permitted  to  offer  to  swap  off  or  sell  • 
any  portion  of  their  citizens.  What  I  ask  to  know  in  the 
stipulations  of  the  present  treaty  is,  whether  the  American 
settlers  you  propose  to  turn  over  to  us  in  this  exchange  of 
countries  are,  when  we  get  them  in  possession",  to  be  con 
sidered  Indians  or  white  people?' 

"General  Jackson  replied  and  told  the  speaking  chief 
that,  'As  for  the  white  people  on  the  land,  it  was  a  mere 
matter  of  moon-shine.  There  were  perhaps  a  few  hunters- 



scattered  over  the   country,   and   I  will  have   them  ordered 

'"I  beg-  your  pardon,'  said  Apushamataha,  'there  are  a 
great  many  of  them,  many  of  them  substantial,  well-to-do 
settlers,  with  good  houses  and  productive  farms,  and  they 
will  not  be  ordered  off.' 

"  'But,'  said  General  Jackson,  'I  will  send  my  warriors, 
and  by  the  eternal,  I'll  drive  them  into  the  Mississippi  or 
make  them  leave.' 

"  'Very  well,'  replied  the  chief,  'and  now  the  matter  is 
settled  as  far  as  the  land  west  of  the  Mississippi  river  is 
concerned.  We  will  now  consider  the  boundary  and  coun 
try  the  Choctaws  are  to  give  to  you  for  it,  and  if  wre  can 
agree  upon  that  the  trade  will  be  completed.  You  have  de 
nned  its  boundaries  and  they  include  a  very  valuable  tract  of 
country  of  considerable  extent,  capable  of  producing  corn, 
cotton,  wheat  and  all  the  crops  the  white  man  cultivates. 
Now,  if  we  do  agree  on  terms  and  run  this  line,  it  must,  as  a 
part  of  this  contract,  be  very  clearly  understood,  and  put  on 
paper  in  a  form  that  will  not  die  or  wear  out,  that  no  altera 
tion  shall  be  made  in  the  boundaries  of  that  portion  of  our 
territory  that  will  remain,  until  the  Choctaw  people  are  suf 
ficiently  progressed  in  the  arts  of  civilization  to  become  citi 
zens  of  the  States,  owning  land  and  homes  of  their  own,  on 
an  equal  footing  with  the  white  people.  Then  it  may  be 
surveyed  and  the  surplus  sold  for  the  benefit  of  the  Choctaw 
people. ' 

/     "'That,'  •  said   General   Jackson,    'is    a   magnificent  ar 
rangement  and  we  consent  to  it  readily.' 

'An  adjournment  of  the  council  was  then  made  until  10 
o'clock  next  day  to  allow  the  chiefs  and  warriors  time  to  dis 
cuss  the  treaty ^  and  the  secretary  of  the  commissioners  for 
preparing  his  big  paper,  the  treaty,  ready  for  the  seal. 

"Next  day  at  the  appointed  time  the  council  met  and 
General  Hinds,  one  of  the  commissioners  of  the  United 
States,  made  a  long  talk  to  the  chiefs  and  warriors. 

"Apushamatahah  was  the  speaking  chief,  and  demanded 
the  following  additional  remuneration: 

1st.— 'That  the  United  States  furnish  each  of  those  who 
chose  to  go  to  the  new  country  a  good  rifle,  bullet  mould, 
camp-kettle,  one  blanket  and  powder  and  lead  to  last  one  year. 
Also  corn  for  one  year. 

2nd. — "Out  of  the  land  about  to  be  swapped,  fifty-four 
sections  of,  a  mile  square  shall  be  surveyed  and  sold  to  the 
best  bidder  by  the  United  States  for  the  purpose  of  raising 
a  fund  to  support  Choctaw  schools,  all  to  be  placed  in  the 


hands  of  the  President  of  the  United  States  to  be  dealt  out 
by  him  for  school  purposes  only  in  the  Choctaw  Nation. 

3rd. — "The  United  States  to  pay  for  military  services  of 
all  the  Choctaw  warriors  during-  the  campaign  to  Pensacola. 

4th. — 'Payment  to  all  having  good  houses  and  residing 
on  the  ceded  territory.' 

';A11  the  propositions  were  agreed  to  by  the  United 
States  commissioners.  The  commissioners  first  signed  the 
treaty,  them  Mushulatube,  Apukshinubi  and  Apushimataha, 
the  head  chiefs  of  the  upper,  middle  and  lower  districts  of 
the  Choctaw  Nation.  Then  100  leaders  and  warriors  signed 
with  their  names  or  x  mark.  All  were  pleased  and  satisfied. 

"Apushimataha  was  then  requested  to  speak.  His  effort, 
now  on  record,  would  equal  Daniel  Webster  in  any  of  his  fam 
ous  orations. 

"He  concluded  «as  follows":  'I  most  solemnly  declare 
that  on  my  part  the  sacred  words  'perpetual  friendship,' 
included  in  the  last  article  of  the  treaty,  shall  never  be  vio 
lated  or  suffer  the  slightest  infringement.  We  have  made 
many  treaties  with  the  United  States,  all  conducted  in  peace 
and  amacably  carried  out,  but  this  last  one,  the  greatest  of 
all.  has  been  peculiar  in  its  stipulations,  giving  another  and  a 
stronger  proof  of  the  fostering  care  and  proctecting  inten- 
titons  of  the  United  States  toward  their  Choctaw  friends. 
In  all  our  treaties  we  have  been  encouraged  by  them  to  in- 
situte  schools,  urging  us  to  prepare  ourselves  as  fast  as 
possible  to  become  citizens  and  members  of  that  great 
Nation.  In  the  treaty  which  has  been  concluded  to-day  the 
subject  of  schools  has  been  more  particularly  urged,  and 
appropriations  more  extensively  provided  than  any 
other  former  treaty.  The  applauding  murmurs  on  that 
subject  have  passed  through  the  camps  of  the  Red  people.  It 
meets  their  approbation.  They  will  most  certainly  succeed. 
It  is  a  peculiar  trait  in  the  Choctaw  character,  that  all  the 
national  movements  turn  out  to  be  successes.  -  I  am  pleased 
to  hear  so  many  speaking  favorably  of  school  institutions. 
It  tells  me  that  they  will  have  them.  It  is  a  national  senti 
ment,  and  I  here  venture  the  prediction,  for  I  am  considered 
a  sort  of  a  prophet  any  way,  that  the  time  will  come,  and 
there  are  many  children  and  some  grown  men  here  to-day, 
who  will  live  to  see  it,  when  the  highly  improved  Choctaw 
shall  hold  office  in  the  councils  of  that  great  Nation  of  white 
people,  and  in  their  wars  with  the  Nations  of  the  earth, 
mixed  up  in  the  armies  of  the  white  man,  the  fierce  war 
wlioops  of  the  Choctaw  warrior  shall  strike  terror  and  melt 
the  hearts  of  an  invading  foe.  Mind  that;  Apushimataha  has 
this  day  declared  it  and  his  words  of  prophecy  are  not  ut- 


tered  foolishly.  To  the  chiefs,  leaders  and  warriors  of  my 
countrymen  I  may  say:  Return  to  your  homes  and  forget, 
not  the  words  of  this  great  treaty  to  which  so  many  of  you 
subscribed  your  names  with  your  white  brothers  to  the  same 
big  paper,  this  bright  day.  Nuktaniabilia,  perpetual  friend 
ship,  is  placed  on  that  paper.  You  have  all  agreed  to  stand 
to  it  and  manifested  vour  consent  by  having  your  names 
placed  on  the  big  paper,  where  they  will  remain  long  after 
you  have  all  paseed  away  to  the  good  hunting  ground.' 

Nuktaniabilia  are  corruptions  of  the  whites  and  are  not 
the  Choctaw  words  for  "perpetual  friendship."  The 

Original:  Biliahittibaiachuffah.  Pro.  Be-le-ah  (for 
ever)  it-tib-ai-ar-chuf-fah  (to  be  one  mind)  i.  e.  Perpetual 

How  easily  could  the  sentiments  and  desires  expressed 
by  the  Choctaw  people  through  their  noble  chief,  have  been, 
realized  but  for  that  base  venality  which  demanded  their 
country  alone  and  their  banishment  to  the  then  most  inhos 
pitable  region  then  known  upon  the  western  continent,  in 
open  violation  of  a  thousand  as  sacred  pledges  as  it  is  possi 
ble  for  man  to  make  to  man.  Surely  we  are  not  a  govern 
ment  of  law  but  of  brute  force  impelled  alone  by  that  venality 
that  knows  110  principle  of  virtue  whatever. 

See  the  low  duplicity  and  misrepresentation  adopted  by 
Jackson  to  mislead  Apushamataha,  in  regard  to  the  coun 
try  west  of  the  Mississippi  River  that  he  was  endeavoring  to 
exchange  with  the  Choctaws  for  a  portion  of  their  west;  and 
to-day,  after  three  quarters  of  a  century  has  past,  it  stands 
as  a  living  testimony  of  the  honesty  and  truthfulness  of  the 
noble  Choctaw  chief.  And  when  lie  pointed  to  the  white  set 
tlers  occupying  a  part  of  the  offered  land — mark  the  threat 
of  Jackson,  "I  will  send  my  warriors,  and,  by  the  eternal,  I'll 
drive  them  into  the  Mississippi  or  make  them  leave;"  which, 
whatever  name  Truth  and  Justice  deem  it  merits,  was  never 
executed;  and  after  remaining  five  years,  the  quiet  of  the 
Choctaws  was  again  disturbed  on  October  20th,  1825,  by  the 
voice  of  the  white  man  howling  in  Sinai  thunder  tones: 
"More  land!"  "More  land!"  Again  were  they  summoned 
from  their  peaceful  homes  by  the  arbitrary  voice  of  their 
"Great  Father  at  Washington" — great  in  the  unsurpassed 
ability  of  defrauding  helpless  Indians — to  cede  to  the  United 
States  that  portion  of  their  land  still  occupied  by  the  afore 
said  settlers  that  the  "truthful"  Jackson  had  sworn  "by  the 
eternal"  to  put  into  the  ''Mississippi  river  or  make  them 
leave."  The  United  States  got  the  land,  as  no  doubt,  it  was 
a  pre-arranged  plan  to  keep  the  whites  upon  it  until  the  proper 
time  arrived,  then  take  it;  therefore,  Jackson's  "into  the 


Mississippi"  was  but  a  toot  of  his  own  horn,  understood 
alone  by  himself,  though  deceiving"  the  too  confiding  Apusha- 
mataha.  And  in  ten  years  after  A-push-a-ma-ta-ha  had 
made  the  treaty  of  1820  (the  last  he  ever  made)  the  United 
States  Government  had  defrauded  (the  word  might  be  used 
as  can  be  proven)  the  Choctaws  out  of  every  acre  of  their 
country  east'of  the  Mississippi .  Theold hero.had  died  in  Wash 
ington  City  six  years  before,  and  with  him  also  died:  "The  time 
will  come  when  the  highly  improved  Choctaw  shall  hold  office 
in  the  councils  of  that  great  Nation  of  white  people,  and  in  their- 
wars  with  the  Nations  of  the  earth,  mixed  up  in  the  armies 
of  the  white  man,  the  fierce  war  whoop  of  the  Choctaw  war 
rior  shall  strike  terror  and  melt  the  hearts  of  an  invading 
foe,"  and  buried  so  deep  down  under  the  dirt  and  rubbish  of 
the  white  man's  avarice,  that  left  no  hope  of  a  resurrection 

When  stretched  in  his  tent  upon  his  bed  of  death  he  said 
to  Jackson  standing  near: 

"Original,  "Illi  siah  makinli  su  paknaka  ta;  pro.  Il-lih  se- 
ah  mar-kin-lih  soo  park-da'kah,ta;  signifying,  dead  I  am  as 
soon  as  me  above. 

"Original,  napoh-  chitoh  tokahiechih;  pro.  narn-poh  che- 
toh  to-kah-le-chih;  sig.  guns  big  shoot  off."  Which  was  done 
according  to  his  request. 

Verily  "Let  Hamlet"  also  "be  his  eulogist:" 
'How  noble  in  reason!     How  infinite  in  faculties! 
'In  form  and  moving  how  express  and  admirable:' 
"Let  Mark  Antony"  also  "write  his  epitaph:" 

'His  life  was  gentle;  and  the  elements 
So  mixed  in  him,  that  nature  might  stand  up 
And  say  to  all  the  world:     This  was  a  man'."1 

His  Motto, 

Onward  career  of  duty; 
His  Canopy, 

A  conscious  rectitude  of  purpose; 
His  lamp,  truth; 

His  Motto, 
Nil,  nil,  desperandum.     Never,  never,  despair! 


Ever  since  the  dispute  between  Texas  and  the  United 
States  commenced  concerning  the  title  to  Greer  county,  the 
Choctaw  Nation  -had  two  of  its  ablest  men  in  Washington 
over-hauling  the  old  treaties  and  watching  the  movements  of 
both  disputants.  The  United  States  by  the  Doak's  Stand 


treaty  in  the  autumn  of  1820  ceded  all  its  territory  ^  to  the 
Chocta-ws  south  of  the  Canadian  river  to  Red  river  along-  the 
western  line  of  the  Indian  Territory.  The  Cherokees  had 
been  ceded  all  north  of  the  Canadian.  Texas  claimed  that 
the  Red  river  mentioned  in  the  treaty  of  1819  between  the 
United  States  and  the  King-  of  Spain  is  the  north  fork  of  Red 
,  The  United  States  claimed  that  the  south  fork  of 
river  is  the  true  Red  river.  This  is  where  the  dispute 
rarose . 

"Should  a  future  survey  be  made  to  determine  the  ques 
tions  of  boundary  lines,  and  the  south  fork  of  Red  river  be 
-declared  the  true  line,  the  Choctaw  Indians  would  certainly 
be  the  legal  owners. 

•''The  map  used  by  General  Jackson  in  the  tre'aty  at 
Doak's  Stand  was  doubtless  Melish's  of  1818.  That  map  is 
doubtless  on  file  in  the  Department  of  the  Interior  in  Wash 
ington  settle  the  controversy.  General  Jackson  promised 
to  make  g-ood  the  lines  shown  up  the  map  when  the  speaking- 
-chief  at  the  treaty  questioned  its  accuracy. 

~uThc  survey,  as  to  how  far  west  the  10th  meridian  runs 
lias  never  been  made  and  forty  years  have  passed  without 
•Jtbe  boundary  line  being*  known.  This  is  why  the  Choctaws 
Ihave  never  presented  their  claims  to  Greer  County. 

The  United  States  conveyed  to  the  "Choctaws,  on  the 
38th  of  October,  1820,  all  of  their  lands  west  of  Arkansas 
between  the  Canadian  and  Red  rivers,  that  was  within  the 
limits  of  the  United  States  at  that  time  ;  and  on  the  19th  of 
February,  1821,  the  United  States  conveyed  a  strip  off  of  the 
west  end,  of  the  same  lands  conveyed  to  the  Choctaws  by  the 
King-  of 'Spain,  in  an  exchange  for  the  then  Province  of  Flori 
da.  Hence  this  claim  of  the  Choctaw  Nation  on  what  is  now 
•loiown  as  Greer  County.  In  1855,  the  Choctaw  Nation  ceded 
to  the  United  States  all  their  lands,  then  in  their  possession 
lying-  west  of  the  100°,  for  the  consideration  of  $800,000.  Now 
the  Choctaws  claim,  and  justly  too,  it  seems,  that  they  did 
not  make  a  cession,  in  1855,  of  that  portion  of  the  land  which 
the  United  States  sold  to  the  King-  of  Spain,  without  their 
consent  and  for  which  they  have  never  received  a  dollar,  as 
it  was  not  in  their  possession  to  make  a  conveyance— it  then 
heing-  in  the  possession  of  Spain  and  thus  beyond  their  juris 

Thus  the  United  States  deal  with  her  Indian  Wards, 
whom  she  had  beguiled  into  her  power. 

Made  and   concluded  January   20th,   1825,    between  John  C. 


Calhoun,  Secretary  of  War,  being-  specially  authorized 
therefor  by  the  President  of  the  United  States,  and  the 
undersigned  chiefs  and  head  men  of  the  Choctaw  Nation 
of  Indians,  duly  authorized  and  empowered  by  said 
Nation,  at  the  City  of  Washing-ton,  on  the  20th  day  of 
January,  1825, 

Whereas,  a  treaty  of  friendship,  and  limits,  and  accom 
modation,  having-  been  entered  into  at  Doak's  Stand,  on  the 
18th  of  October,  1820,  between  Andrew  Jackson  and  Thomas 
Hinds,  commissioners  on  the  part  of  the  United  'States,  and 
the  chiefs  and  warriors  of  the  Choctaw  Nation  ;  and, 

Whereas,  the  second  article  of  the  treaty  aforesaid  pro 
vides  for  a  cession  of  lands,  west  of  the  Mississippi,  to  the 
Choctaw  Nation,  in  part  satisfaction  for  lands  ceded  by  said 
Nation  to  the  United  States,  according-  to  the  first  article  of 
said  treaty;  and 

Whereas,  it  being-  ascertained  that  the  cession  aforesaid 
embraces  a  large  number  of  settlers,  citizens  of  the  United 
States;  and  it  being"  the  desire  of  the  President  of  the  United 
States  to  obviate  all  difficulties  resulting  therefrom,  and 
also,  to  adjust  other  matters  in  which  both  the  United  States 
and  the  Choctaw  Nation  are  interested.  The  following- 
articles  have  been  agreed  upon,  and  concluded,  between 
John  C.  Calhoun,  Secretary  of  War,  especially  authorized 
therefor  by  the  President  of  the  United  States,  on  the  one 
part,  and  the  undersigned  delegates  of  the  Choctaw  Nation; 
•on  the  other  part: 

Article  1st. — The  Choctaw  Nafion  does  hereby  cede  to 
the  United  States  all  that  portion  of  land  ceded  to  them  by 
the  Second  Article  of  the  treaty  of  Doak's  Stand,  as  afore 
said,  lying-  east  of  a  line  beginning-  on  the  Arkansas,  one 
hundred  paces  east  of  Fort  Smith,  and  running'  thence,  due 
south  to  Red  river;  it  being-  understood  that  the  line  shall 
constitute,  and  remain,  the  permanent  boundary  between 
the  United  States  and  the  Choctaws;  and  the  United  States 
agreeing  to  remove  such  citizens  as  may  be  settled  on  the 
west  side,  to  the  east  side  of  said  line,  and  prevent  further 
settlements  from  being-  made  on  the  west  thereof. 

Article  2nd. — In  consideration  of  the  cession  aforesaid, 
the  United  States  do  hereby  agree  to  pay  the  said  Choctaw 
Nation  the  sum  of  six  thousand  dollars  annually,  forever; 
it  being-  agreed  that  the  said  sum  of  six  thousand  dollars 
shall  be  applied,  for  the  term  of  twenty  yearsA  under  the 
direction  of  the  President  of  the  United  States,  to  the  sup 
port  of  schools  in  said  Nation,  and  extending-  to  it  the  bene 
fits  of  instruction  in  the  mechanic  and  ordinary  arts  of  life; 


when,  at  the  expiration  of  twenty  years,  it  is  agreed  that  the 
said  annuity  may  be  vested  in  stocks,  or  otherwise  disposed 
of,  or  continued,  at  the  option  of  the  Choctaw  Nation. 

Article  3rd.— The  eighth  article  of  the  treaty  aforesaid 
having-  provided  that  an  appropriation  of  lands  should  be 
made  for  the  purpose  of  raising  six  thousand  dollars  a  year 
for  sixteen  years,  for  the  use  of  the  Choctaw  Nation;  and  it 
being-  desirable  to  avoid-  the  delay  and  expense  attending-  the 
survey  and  sale  of  said  lands,  the  United  States  do  hereby 
agree  to  pay  to  the  Choctaw  Nation,  in  lieu  thereof,  the  sum 
of  six  thousand  dollars,  annually,  for  sixteen  years,  to  com 
mence  with  the  present  year.  And  the  United  States  fur 
ther  stipulate  and  agree  to  take  immediate  measures  to  sur 
vey  and  bring-  into  market,  and  sell,  the  fifty-four  sections  of 
land  set  apart  by  the  Seventh  Article  of  the  treaty  aforesaid,, 
and  apply  the  proceeds  in  the  manner  provided  by  the  said 

Article  4th. — It  is  provided  by  the  Ninth  Section  of  the 
treaty  aforesaid,  that  all  those  of  the  Choctaw  Nation  who 
have  separate  settlements,  and  fall  within  the  limits  of  the 
land  ceded  by  the  said  Nation  to  the  United  States,  and  de 
sire  to  remain  where  they  now  reside,  shall  be  secured  in  a 
tract  or  parcel  of  land,  one  mile  square,  to  include  their  im 
provements.  It  is,  therefore,  hereby  agreed,  that  all  who 
have  reservations,  in  conformity  to  said  stipulation,  shall  have 
power,  with  the  consent  of  the  President  of  the  United 
States,  to  sell  and  convey  the  same  in  fee  simple.  It  is  fur 
ther  agreed,  on  the  part  of  the  United  States,  that  those 
Choctaws,  not  exceeding-  four  in  number,  who  applied  for 
reservations,  and  received  the  recommendation  of  the  com 
missioners,  as  per  annexed  copy  of  said  recommendation 
shall  have  .the  privilege,  and  the  right  is  herebv  given  to 
them,  to  select,  each  of -them,  a  portion  of  land,  not  exceed 
ing  a  mile  square,  anywhere  within  the  limits  of  the  cession 
of  1820,  where  the  land  is  not  occupied  or  disposed  .of  by  the 
United  States;  and  the  right  to  sell  and  convey  the  same, 
with  the  consent  of  the  President,  in  fee  simple,  is  hereby 

Article  5th. — There  being  a  debt  due  by  individuals  of 
the  Choctaw  Nation  to  the  late  United  States  trading-  house 
on  the  Tombigbee,  the  United  States  hereby  agree  to  relin 
quish  the  same;  the  delegation,  on  the  part  of  their  Nation, 
agreeing  to  relinquish  their  claim  upon  the  United  States,  to 
send  a  factor  with  goods  to  supply  the  wants  of  the  Choctaws 
west  of  the  Mississippi,  as  provided  for  by  the  Sixth  Article 
of  the  treaty  aforesaid. 

Article  6th. — The  Choctaw  Ration  having-  a   claim  <  upon 

HISTORY    OF    THK    INDIANS.  133 

-the  United  States  for  services  rendered  in  the  Pensacola 
campaign,  and  for  which  it  is  stipulated  in  the  Eleventh  Ar 
ticle  of  the  treaty  aforesaid,  that  payment  shall  be  made,  but 
which  has  been  delayed  for  the  want  of  proper  vouchers, 
which  it  has  been  found,  as  yet,  impossible  to  obtain;  the 
United  States,  to  obviate  the  inconvenience  of  further  delay, 
and  to  render  justice  to  the  Choctaw  warriors  for  their  serv 
ices  in  that  cam paign,  do .  hereby  agree  upon  an  equitable 
settlement  of  the  same  and  the  sum  of  fourteen  thousand 
nine  hundred  and  seventy-two  dollars  and  fifty  cents; 
which,  from  the  muster  rolls,  and  other  evidence  in  the  pos 
session  of  the  third  auditor,  appears  to  be  about  the  probable 
amount  due,  for  the  services  aforesaid,  and  which  sum  shall 
be  immediately  paid  to  the  delegation,  to  be  distributed  by 
them  to  the  chiefs  and  warriors  of  their  Nation,  who  served 
in  the  campaign  aforesaid,  as  may  appear  to  them  to  be 

Article  7th. — It  is  further  agreed,  that  the  Fourth  Ar 
ticle  of  the  treaty  aforesaid,  shall  be  so  modified,  as  that  the 
Congress  of  the  United  States  shall  not  exercise  the  power 
of  apportioning  the  lands,  for  the  benefit  of  each  family,  or 
individual,  of  the  Choctaw  Nation,  and  of  bringing  them  un 
der  the  laws  of  the  United  States,  but  with  the  consent  of 
'the  Choctaw  Nation.  ; 

Article  8th. — Itappearing  that  theChoctaws  have  various 
claims  against  the  citizens  of  the  United  States,  for  spolia 
tions  of  various  kinds,  but  which  they  have  not  been  able  to 
support  by  testimony  of  white  men,  as  they  were  led  to  be 
lieve  was  necessary,  the  United  States,  in  order  to  a  final 
settlement  of  all  such  claims,  do  hereby  agree  to  pay  to  the 
Choctaw  delegation,  the  sum  of  two  thousand  dollars,  to  be 
distributed  by  them  in  such  way,  among  the  claimants,  as 
they  may  deem  equitable.  It  being  understood  that  this 
provision  is  not  to  affect  such  claims  as  may  be  properly 
-authenticated,  according  to  the  provisions  of  the  act  of  1802. 

Article  9th. — It  is  further  agreed  that,  immediately  upon 
the  notification  of  this  treaty,  or  as  soon  thereafter  as  may 
be  practicable,  an  agent  shall  be  appointed  for  the  Choctaws 
west  of  the  Mississippi,  and  a  blacksmith  be  settled  among 
them  in  conformity  with  the  stipulation  contained  in  the 
Sixth  Article  of  the  treaty  of  1820. 

Article  10th.  The  chief  Puckshenubbee,  (original,  Apuk- 
-shiubih)  one  of  the  members  of  the  delegation,  having  died 
•on  his  journey  to  see  the  Pres.  and  Robert  Cole  recommended 
by  the  delegation  as  his  successor,  it  is  here  agreed,  that 
the  said  Robert  Cole  shall  receive  the  medal  which  apper- 
lains  to  the  office  of  chief,  and,  also,  an  annuity  from  the 

134  EI.TORY    OF    THE   INDIANS. 

United  States  of  one  hundred  and  fifty   dollars   a  year,   dur 
ing  his  natural  life,  as  was  received  by  his  predecessor. 

Article  Ijth. — The  friendship  heretofore  existing-  be 
tween  the  United  States  and  the  Choctaw  Nation,  is  hereby 
renewed  and  perpetuated. 

Article  12th.— Tb-  e  articles  shall;  take  effect,  and  be 
come  obligbory  on  t*  contracting  parties  so  soon  as  the 
same  shall  be  ratified  by  the  President,  by  and  with  the  ad 
vice  and  consent  of  the  Senate  of  the  Unite  States. 

In  testiseiiy  whereof,  the  said  John  C.  Calhoun,  and  the 
said  delegates  of  the  Choctaw  Nation,  havo  hereunto  set 
their  hands,  at  the  city  of  Washington,  the  20th  day  of  June, 
1825.  JOHN  C.  CALHOUN. 

Corrupted:  Mooshulatubbee,  his  x  mark.  Original:, 

ROBERT  COLE,  his  x  mark. 
DANIEL  McCuRTAiN,  his  x  mark. 
TUSHKA  ANUMPULI  SHALI  his  x  mark, 
.  Pro.  Tush-kah  (wrarrior)  Shah-lih  (messenger.) 
RED  FORT,  his  x  mark. 

Corrupted:     Nittuckachie,    his  x   mark.     Original:     Ni~ 
J:ak  (a,  as  ah)  a  chih— To  suggest  the  day. 

J.  C.  MCDONALD,  Talkative  warrior. 

According  to  traditional  authority,  the  morning  star  of 
the  Choctaws'  religious  era,  (if  such  it  may  be  termed)  first 
lit  up  their  eastern  horizon,  upon  the  advent  of  the  two  great 
Wesleys  into  the  now  State  of  Georgia  in  the  year  1733,  as 
the  worthy  and  congenial  companions  of  the  noble  Oglethorpe; 
but  also,  it  flashed  but  a  moment  before  their  eyes  as  a  beau 
tiful  meteor,  then  as  quickly  went  out  upon  the  return  to 
England  of  those  champions  of  the  Cross,  leaving  them  only 
to  fruitless  conjecture  as  to  its  import;  nor  was  seen  again 
during  the  revolutions  of  eighty-five  long  and  weary  .years. 
Though  tradition  affirms,  there  were  several  missionaries 
(Roman  Catholic)  among  the  Choctaws  in  1735;  and  that  tha- 
Reverend  Father  Baudouin,  the  actual  superior  general  of 
the  mission  resided  eighteen  years  among  the  Choctaws. 
With  these  two  above  named  exceptions,  I  have  seen  no  rec- 
ord'of  the  White  Race  ever  manifesting  any  interest  in  the 
southern  Indians'  welfare  either  of  a  temporal  or  spiritual 
nature,  from  the  earliest  trading  posts  established  among 
them  in  1670  by  the  Virginia  and  Carolina  traders,  down 
through  slowly  revolving  years  to  that  of  1815;  at  which 
time  may  be  dated  the  establishment  of  the  first  Protestant 
mission  among  the  southern  Indians.  This  mission,  which 
was  named  Brainard,  was  established  among  the  Cherokees* 


"by  Rev.  Cyrus  Kingsbury,  under  the  jurisdiction  of  the  Old 
School  Presbyterian  Board  of  Foreign  Missions,  in  Bostonr 
Massachusetts,  who  arrived  in  that  Nation,  in  company  with; 
his  assistant  laborers,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Williams,  January  13th r- 

In  1818,  Mr.  Kingsbury,  in  company  with  Mr.  and  Mrs- 
Williams,  left  Brainard  in  the  charge  of  Rev.  Daniel  S.  But- 
trick  (who  arrived  there  January  4th,  1818,  and  remained  as 
a  missionary  among-  the  Cherokees  until  1847,  when  hi& 
health  failing-,  he  went' to  Dwig-ht  Mission  also  in  the  Chero 
kee  Nation,  where  he  died  June  8th,  1851)  andarrived  in  the~ 
Choctaw  Nation  near  the  last  of  June,  1818,  and  established 
a  mission  in  a  vast  forest  of  lofty  trees,  three  miles  south  of 
Yello  Busha,  a  river  (corruption  from  the  Choctaw  words. 
Yaloba  aiasha;  Tadpoles  abounding-)  and  about  thirty  miles- 
above  its  junction  with  the  Yazoo,  (corruption  of  the  Choc 
taw  word  Yoshuba — pro.  as  Yoh-shu-bah,  and  sig,  Lost),, 
and  400  miles  distant  from  Barnard,  which  he  named  Elliot,, 
in  honor  of  the  Rev.  John  Elliot,  that  distinguished  missionr- 
ary  among  the  Indians  of  the  New  England  States. 

They  went  from  Brainard  to  the  Tennessee  river,,  seven, 
miles  distant,  by  private  conveyance,  and  there  wrent  by  way." 
of  a  boat,  which  had  beenengaged  to  carry  them  to  the1 
Muscle  Shoals.  A  wragon  was  also  placed  upon  the  boat,,  by 
which  they  went  from  Muscle  Shoals  to  the  Chickasaw: 
agency,  two  hundred  miles  away,  where  they  abandoned  the: 
wagon,  andcrossed  the  country  on  horseback,  directed  alone- 
.by  little  paths  that  led  through  thickets  and  canebrakes,  and 
safely  arrived  at  the  Yalobaaiasha  settlement,  where  they 
were  hospitably  received  by  Capt.  Perry,  (a  half  breed)  and 
many  native  families.  On  the  following  Sabbath  Mr.  Kings- 
bury  held  a  'religious  meeting  and  proclaimed  salvation 
through  the  Son  of  God,  for  the  first  time  ever  proclaimed  in 
the  Choctaw  Nation  by  the  Pro'testant  minister.  Capt.  Perry 
also  supplied  them  with  a  house  until  they  were  able  to  build 
for  themselves. 

In  June,  1818,  Moses  Jewell  and  wife,  John  Kanouse  and 
wife,  and  Peter  Kanouse  left  New  York  for  New  Orleans, 
and  reached  the  Choctaw  Nation,  in  the  following  August.. 
The  first  tree  for  the  establishment  of  the  Mission  was 
felled  on  August  the  15th,  1818. 

The  Choctaws  seemed  to  comprehend  the  benevolent, 
designs  of  the  missionaries  and  received  them  with  every 
manifestation  of  friendship  and  good  will;  though  some  mis 
apprehension  was  indicated  owing  to  the  debased  lives  of  the 
white  men  (without  a  single  white  woman),  with  whom  the 

.  .      .,..  . 



had  long-  associated,  as  true  representatives  of  -the  r 
White  Race  in  toto.  "'   '  -y  ^    ^4$T--''- 

Soon  after  came  A.  V.  Williams  (brother  of   IJ.   S.  :>Wil- 
Tiams,  who  came  with  Cyrus  Kingsbury)  and  Miss   Varnum  -.•• 
and  Miss  Chase,  whom  Mr.  Kingsbury  met  in  New  Orleans, 
and  there   married   Miss   Varnum,  with  whom  he  had  been 
under  matrimonial  engagement  before  he  entered   the   mis 
sion.    'They  all  returned  to  Elliot  in  February,  1819;  then  a 
mission  church  was  organized  on  the  last  Sabbath  of  the  fol 
lowing-  March,   and   the   Lord's   supper   administered  —  the 
first  ever  witnessed  in  the   Choctaw  Nation.     Ten    persons  -. 
composed  the  number  of  that  church  (all  connected  with  the 
mission),  and  the  ten  partook  of  that  supper  —  a  strange  and 
incomprehensible   scene   to  the  Choctaws,  who  gazed  at  the  ' 
novel  sight  with  unassumed  wonder. 

Within  ten  months  from  the  time  Mr.  King-bury  and  , 
Mr.  Williams  and  Mrs  .  Williams  arrived  at  the  Ya-lo-ba-ai- 
a-sha  settlement,  seven  log  houses  had  been  erected,  and 
completed,  the  largest  20x22,  and  the  smallest,  12x16;  and 
also,  had  nearly  completed  a  mill,  stable  and  store-house, 
and  had  nearly  prepared  timber  enough  for  a  school  house, 
kitchen,  and  dining-room,  and  had  sawed  by  hand  9,000  feet 
of  cypress  and  poplar  plank  with  which  to  make  furniture, 
floors,  doors.  &c.,  the  principal  labor  of  all  which  was  done 
by  employed  Choctaws  directed  by  the  missionaries  —  so 
-eager  were  they  to  assist  their  white  friends  who  had  come 
to  live  among  them  and  bless  them  by  their  benevolent  teach 
ings;  and  before  the  school  house  was  completed,  eight 
children,  through  a  false  rumor  that  the  school  was  opened, 
were  brought  over  160  miles  to  be  entered.  And  thus  the 
mission,  without  a  school  house,  and  also  pressed  by  a  great 
.scarcity  of  provisions,  was  greatly  perplexed;  since,  if  the 
children  were  rejected,  an  unfavorable  impression  would  be 
the  inevitable  result,  and  if  they  were  received,  those  in  the 
neighborhood  would  claim  their  equal  rights  to  the  same  fa 
vor.  However,  it  was  resolved,  upon  due  -reflection,  to 
receive  them  as  the  less  of  the  two  evils,  and  a  little  cabin 
was'  appropriated  for  a  school  house,  and  the  school  opened 
on  the  19th  of  April,  1819,  with  ten  pupils 

On  the  first  of  August,  1819,  the  mission  was  strengthened 
by  the  arrival  of  Dr  Pride  and  Isaac  Fish,  who  was  a  farmer 
and  blacksmith.  Shortly  after,  the  Choctaws  convened  in 
national  council,  and  which,  Mr.  Kingsbury,  through  earnest 
solicitation  of  the  Choctaws,  attended.  The  subject  of 
schools  was  discussed  during  the  session  of  the  couricil,  in 
which  Mr.  Kingsbury  took  part,  and  among  the  other  things 
suggested,.  also  proposed  that  all  who  desired  to  have  a  schoo 


^established  among-  them  should  signify  that  desire  by  sub 
scribing  money,  or  live  stock,  as  they  preferred.  At  once  a 
^subscription  was  opened  in  the  council,  and  a  considerable 
amount  of  mony  was  subscribed;  Apakfohlichihubi  (sig.  One 
who  encircles  to  kill),  the  ruling-  chief,  giving  $200  of  the 
same,  while  others  gave  90  cows  and  calves,  with  the  promise 
-of  as  many  more  yearly,  which  was  faithfully  fulfilled;  and 
thus  the  mission  was,  at  once,  amply  stocked  with  cattle.  A 
farm  was  soon  opened  and  every  effort  made  to  prepare  for 
"the  reception  and  accommodation  of  as  many  pupils  as  might 
seek  to  enter  the  school. 

The  Chickasaws,  learning  of  the  school,  made  appli 
cation  for  their  children  to  attend  the  school,  also,  to  which 
the  Choctaw  chiefs,  though  knowing  that  the  children  of  the 
applicants  of  their  own  nation  could  not  all  be  accommodated, 
finally  give  their  consent,  fearing  if  they  refused  they  would 
wound  the  feelings  of  their  Chickasaw  friends,  but  with  the 
following  proviso:  That  all  Chickasaw  children  whose  father 
or  mother  were  Chickasaws,  would  be  received  into  the 
school,  and  no  others.  Such  was  the  zeal  manifested  for 
schools  and  churches  among  the  Choctaws,  from  the  opening 
-of  the  first  to  the  closing  of  the  last,  when  despoiled  of  their 
ancient  homes  and  driven  to  seek  others  in  the  distant  west. 

Soon  afterthe  opening  of  the  schooladeep  gloom  threw  its 
dark  mantle  over  the  mission  in  the  sudden  and  unexpected 
killing  of  aged  Chickasaw  woman,  named  Illichih  (pro.  as  II- 
lich-ih,  and  sig.  to  cause  to  die,)and  who  lived  about  two  miles 
from  Elliot  with  a  son  (20  years  of  age)  two  daughters  and 
two  little  grand-daughters,  and  had  endeared  herself  to 
the  missionaries  by  her  many  acts  of  kindness  and  much  val 
uable  assistance.  The  tragic  affair  happened  thus: 

A  Choctaw  girl,  who  lived  about  thirty  miles  distant, 
came,  a  short  time  before  Mr.  Kingsbury  arrived,  to  visit 
some  friends  living  near  where  Elliot  wras  located.  The  girl 
was  taken  sick,  and  an  old  Choctaw  woman — a  conjuring 
doctress — proposed  to  cure  her.  She  was  at  once  employed 
in  the  case.  After  giving  her  patient  a  variety  of  root  and 
lierb  decoctions,  internally  and  also  externally  applied  for 
several  days,  at  the  same  time  chanting  her  incantations  and 
going  through  her  wild  ceremonies  over  and  around  her  pa 
tient,  she  pronounced  the  girl  convalescent  and  would  re 
cover;  the  father  was  duly  informed  of  the  happy  change, 
and  came  to  take  his  daughter  home;  he  remunerated  the 
apparently  successful  physician  by  giving  her  a  pony,  and 
retired  for  the  night  intending  to  start  for  home  with  his 
daughter  the  next  day;  but  during  the  night,  the  daughter 
suddenly  became  worse  and  expired  in  24  hours.  It  was'  at 


once  decided  that  her  sudden  demise  was  the  result  of  a 
isht-ul-bih  (witch  ball)  shot  from  an  invisible  rifle  in  the 
hands  of  a  witch.  Without  delay  her  physician  was  con 
sulted,  who'pronounced  Illichih  to  be  the  witch  who  had  shot 
the  fatal  bullet.  Immediately  the  father  with  several  other 
men,  all  armed,  went  to  the  home  of  Illichih  and  entered  her 
cabin.  She  displayed  her  hospitality,  so  universal  among-  all 
Indians,  by  setting-  before  them  the  best  she  had  ;  and  after 
they  had  partaken  of  her  scanty  refreshments,  the  father 
suddenly  sprang-  to  his  feet  and,  seizing-  her  by  the  hair, 
cried  out.  "Huch-ish-no  fiopa  uno  chumpa;  aholh-kun-na 
.  chish-o  yokut,  cha  ish  ai  illih,  (your  life  I  boug-ht;  a  witch  you. 
are,  and  must  die.")  To  which  Illichih,  realizing-  her  inevit 
able  doom,  calmly  replied:  "Chomi  holubih,  cha  ish  moma 
yimmih"  (others  lie,  and  you  all  believe.")  In  a  moment  she 
was  stretched  upon,  the  floor  a  bleeding-  corpse. 

When  her  son,  who  was  absent  from  home  at  the  time  of 
the  trag-edy,  returned,  his  feeling's  may  be  imagined,  but  not 
described.  He  at  once  hastened  to  the  missionaries,  for 
whom  he  had  often  \vorked,  and  told  them  his  tale  of  woe. 
Mr.  Kingsbury  immediately  went  to  the  tragic  scene  of  death: 
He  found  the  mangled  corpse  of  his  old  friend  lying-  upon 
the  floor,  partially  covered  with  a  blanket,  with  the  two- 
daughters  and  grand-daughters  sitting  around  it  in  the 
deepest  grief,  and  their  wailing-s  but  feebly  expressed  the 
anguish  of  their  hearts.  Mr.  King-sbury  had  a  coffin  made,, 
and  the  missionaries,  with  the  five  children,  laid  poor  Illichih 
in  he  r  humble  grave,  there  to  await  the  resurrectipn  morn.. 
The  missionaries  performed  religious  ceremonies  at  the 
grave'  and  after  they  had  placed  the  coffin  in  its  last  resting" 
place,  the  relatives  and  friends  of. the  deceased  placed  all  her 
cloth  ing  and  the  little  money  she  possessed,  and  her  bedding-, 
upon  the  coffin  and  filled  up  the  grave — an  ancient  custom  of 
the  Choctaws,  as  well  as  of  all  North  American  Indians,  who 
believed  their  deceased  friends  will  have  need  of  those  thing's 
in  the  the  world  beyond  the  grave. 

Does  the  reader  exclaim  in  iiidig-nant  horror  atxthe  slay 
ing  of  Illichih,  "What  inhuman  wretches!"  But  be  not  too 
hasty  in  your  judgment  and  condemnation  of  the  acts  of  the 
then  unenlig'htened  Choctaws;  but  remember  our  professed, 
civilized  and  Christian  ancestors — the  "Pilgrim  Fathers"- 
stand  to-day  guilty  of  the  same  charge,  but  sixty  fold  more 
culpable  (professing  what  they  did)  than  the  Choctaws;  for, 
as  soon  as  the  Choctaws  had  been  instructed  in  the  impro 
priety  and  sinfulness  of  killing-  any  one  for  witchcraft,  no- 
life  was  ever  afterwards  sacrificed  to  avenge  the  death  of  a 
bewitched  relative  or  friend. 


On  the  following-  Sabbath  after  the  tragic  death  of  Il-lich- 
ih,  Mr.  King-sbury  preached  from  the  appropriate  text, 
"The  dark  places  of  the  earth  are  full  of  the  habitation  of 
cruelty."  He  spoke  fearlessly  but  calmly  to  his  Choctaw 
audience  of  the  errors  and  wickedness  of  their  superstitions, 
and  the  abhorrence  of  the  Great  Spirit  in  the  slaying-  of  their 
own  people  through  the  belief  that  they  are  witches,  who 
listened  in  profound  silence-''  and  with  the  deepest 
attention;  and  though  a  few  old  women  in  the  Yalobaaiasha 
district  fell  as  sacrifices  before  the  superstition  of  witch 
craft,  after  the  establishment  of  the  Elliot  mission,  yet  by 
the  influence  and  exertions  of  the  missionaries  the  horrible 
practice  was  soon  forever  stopped.  Thoug-h  they  believed 
that  there  were  white  witches  also,  yet  they  never  attempted 
to  kill  a  white  witch,  upon  the  grounds  that  the  whites  eat  so 
much  salt,  that  a  witch  ball  fell  harmless  when  shot  against 
an  Indian  by  a  white  witch. 

But  the"  kindness  and  interest  displayed  by  the  mission 
aries  to  and  for  Il-lich-ih  quickly  spread  over  the  country, 
and  so  won  the  respect  and  confidence  of  the  Choctaws  that 
all  who  were  in  affliction  sent  for  one  or  more  of  them;  and 
also  manifested  great  interest  in  their  teachings  and  anxiety 
for  the  success  of  all  improvements  both  in  churches  and 
schools,  as  suggested  by  those  men  and  women  of  God. 

But  alas,  it  is  a  melancholy  and  lamentable  truth  that  the 
most  that  the  North  American  Indians  (everywhere  over  this 
continent)  have  learned  from  the  whites,  the  missionaries 
alone  excepted,  has  been,  and  still  continues  to  be,  that  of 
their  follies  and  vices.  One  of  the  follies  so  incomprehensi 
ble  to  the  ancient  Choctaws  was,  and  still  is,  that  one  day,  near 
the  close  of  eaeh  year,  should  be  devoted  by  the  "pale-faces" 
to  eating  and  drinking,  dancing  and  frolicking,  carousing 
and  fighting,  called  Christmas;— incomprehensible,"  since  so 
inconsistent  with  what  the  missionaries  taught  them  what 
the  Bible  reasons  for  rejoicing  were,  and  in  what  way  they 
should  be  expressed  to  please  God,  as  the  advent  of  his  Son 
to  earth  to  redeem  man  and  bring  him  back  from  the  paths 
of  hi  i  and  folly  to  those  of  virtue  and  righteousness. 

In  1820,  Mr.  Kino-sou ry  started  from  -Elliot  for  the  pur 
pose  of  establishing  a  mission  near  the  It-oom  bih  river,  and 
arrived  at  the  home  of  David  Folsom,  sixty  miles  distant, 
and  then  known  by  the  name  of  "Puch-i  A-nu-si,"  (pro.  as 
Push-ih  (Pigeon)  Ar-noos-ih  (Sleep)  or  Pigeon  Roost)  from 
the  vast  numbers  of  that  beautiful  bird  that  formerly  roosted 
there.  There  Mr.  Kingsbury  secured  the  voluntary  assist 
ance  of  Colonel  Folsom  to  assist  him  in  the  selection  of  a 
proper  situation  for  the  contemplated  mission;  after  the  sec- 


ond  day's  travel  they  reached  Major  John  Pitchlynn's— -a 
white  man  who,  by  marrying-  a  Choctaw  woman,  had  been 
adopted  by  the  Choctaws  according-  to  their  custom,  and 
-who,  at  that  time,  was  acting-  as  interpreter  for' the  United 
States  Government,  and,  in  conjunction  with  Colonel  Folsom 
and  others,  was  a  zealous  advocate  of  the  civil  and  religious 
improvement  of  his  people;  while  both  expressed  the  utmost 
gratitude  to  Mr.  Kingsbury  for  his  interest  manifested 
toward  their  people,  and  the  bright  prospect  of  the  Choc- 
iaws'  future  as  presented  by  the  missionaries  in  schools  and 
their  preaching  among  and  in  behalf  of  their  long  neglected 

Alas,  how  'great  the  contrast  between  John  Pitchlynn, 
Nathaniel  Folsom,  Henry  Nail,  Lewis  LeFlore,  John  Col 
bert,  and  others,  who  over  a  century  ago,  voluntarily  united 
themselves  '  to  the  fortunes  of  the  Choctaws  in  toto, 
standing  firmly  and  fearlessly  to  the  interest  of  that  ap 
preciative  people  through  their  hopes  and  fears,  joys  and 

After  many  days  riding  over  the  country,  Mr.  Kings- 
bury,  Col.  Folsom,  and  Major  Pitchlynn  selected  a  place  for 
•the  mission  station  on  a  high  point  overlooking  a  grand  prai 
rie  towards  the  south  and  west,  and  on  the  south 
banks  of  a  stream  flowing  into  a  stream  now  known  as  Tibi 
(corruption  of  the  Choctaw  word  It-tib-ih — to  fight  or  having 
fought),  where  they  at  once  erected  a  camp,  preparatory  to 
the  establishment  of  the  missionary  station— to  which  Mr. 
Kingsbury  gave  the  name  Mayhew.  A  log  cabin  or  two 
were  soon  erected  by  the  aid  of  the  neighboring  Choctaws, 
also  a  garden  and  cornfield  opened  and  planted,  when  Mr. 
Kingsbury  retraced  his  steps  to  Elliot  and  safely  arrived 
there  March  29th. 

Soon  the  news  of  the.  establishment  of  another  station, 
and  the  opening  of  another  school,  echoed  and  re-echoed 
throughout  the  Nation  with  astonishing  rapidity;  and  appli 
cations  were  immediately  made  from  various  parts  of  the 
Nation  for  stations  and  schools  also.  And  to  prove  the  sin 
cerity  of  their  applications,  councils  were  held,  and  appro 
priations  were  made  in  various  parts  of  the  Nation,  for 
churches,  schools,  blacksmith  shops,  etc.,  and  in  1820,  an 
nuities  were  appropriated  to  these  objects  to  the  amount  of 
six  thousand  dollars  annually  to  run  for  sixteen  years. 
These  annuities  were  for  large  tracts  of  land  sold  by  the 
Choctaws  to  the  United  States.  Their  country  was  at  that 
time  divided  into  three  districts,  know  as  the  western,  north 
-eastern,  and  southern;  called  Upper  Towns,  Lower  Towns, 
.and  Six  Towns.  Each  district  had  a  ruling  chief,  and  each 



town  a  subordinate  chief,  captain,  and  warriors,  who  man 
aged  the  local  affairs  of  the  people.  Elliot  was  located  in 
the  western  district,  over  which,  at  that  time,  Pushamataha 
fOri.  A-num-pah-ish-tarn-yah-ub-ih,  a  messenger  of  death)  was 
the  ruling)  chief;  Mayhew,  in  the  north  eastern,  over  which 
Puckshenubbee(Orig  A-piurk-fo-lich-ihub-ihTo  encircle  and 
kill)  was  the  chief  and  A-mb-sho-lihub-ih  of  the  southern. 

About  this  time  (1820)  the  mumps  followed  by  the 
measles  desolated  many  families  and  even  towns  and  villages 
in  different  parts  of  the  nation,  owing  to  the  ig'iiorance  of  the 
Choctaws  concerning  the  nature  of  the  new  diseases  and 
their  proper  treatment. 

In  the  same  year  Apakfohlichihubih  and  Amosholihubih, 
with  seven  other  chiefs,  visited  Elliot  and  were  highly  elated 
at  the  progress  of  the  pupils,  and  exhorted  the  children  in 
strains  of  native  eloquence  to  learn  the  teachings  of  the 
Holisso  Holitopa  (pro.  as  Ho-lis-soh  Ho-le-to-pah,  and  sig. 
Book  Holy  (Bible),  which  told  them  how  to  be  good.  In  a 
social  conversation  with  Amosholihubih  while  at  Elliot,  Mr, 
Kingsbury  referred  to  the  evils  resulting  to  his  people  by 
the  use  of  whiskey;  after  listening  attentively  for  some  time, 
he  replied:  UI  never  can  talk  with  you  good  missionaries 
without  hearing  something  about  the  drunkenness  and  lazi 
ness  of  the  Choctaws.  I  wish  I  had  traveled  over  the  white 
man's  country;  then  I  would  know  whether  my  people  are 
worse  than  every  other  people.-  But  I  am  determined  it  shall 
no  longer  be  thus  said.  I  will  summon  a  council,  have  a  big 
talk  and  stop  the  whiskey;  for  I  am  tired  ofhearing  my  people 
called  every  where  lazy  and  drunkards."  He  was  as" good  as 
his  word.^  The  council  was  convened;  the  "big  talk"  had, 
a'nd  the  whiskey  banished  from  the  Choctaw  Nation,  and 
kept  away,  until  the  Mississippi  Legislature  in  1830  abro 
gated  their  laws,  and  turned,  by  the  hand  of  arbitrary  power, 
the  corrupting  and  devastating  channel  of  Whiskey  river 
into  their  country,  as  the  quickest  means,  of  securing  their 
remaining  lands,  knowing  their  horror  of  the  white  man's 
laws  with  his  whiskey  as  the  protector  and  sustainer  of 
human  "Personal  Liberty." 

Early  in  the  year  1820,  an  English  traveller  from  Liver 
pool,  name\l  Adam  Hodgson,  who  had  heard  of  the  Elliot 
mission  when  at  home,  visited  the  mission,  though  he  had  to 
turn  from  his  main  route  of  travel  the  distance  of  sixty  miles. 
He,  at  one  time  on  his  sixty  miles  route,  employed  a  Choc- 
taw  to  conduct  him  ten  or  twelve  miles  on  his  new  way, 
which  he  did,  then  received  his  pay  and  left  him  to  finish  his 
journey  alone.  Of  this  Choctaw  guide  Mr.  Hodgson,  as  an 
example  of  noble  benevolence  and  faithful  trust,  states:. 


"After  going-  about  a  mile,  where  we  became  confused  in  re 
gard  to  the  correct  direction  and  were  halting  upon  two 
opinions,  my  guide  suddenly  and  unexpectedly  appeared  at 
my  side,  and  pointed  in  the  direction  I  should  go,  as  he  could 
not  talk  English.  I  thanked  him  and  again  we  parted;  but 
again  becoming  confused  by  a  diverging  path,  half  a  mile 
distant,  as  suddenly  and  unexpectedly,  appeared  again  my 
guide  who  had  still  been,  silently  and  unobserved,  watching 
my  steps.  Again  he  set  me  right,  and  made  signs  that  my 
course  lay  directly  toward  the  sun,  and  then  disappeared;" 
and  by  carefully  keeping  the  course  as  directed  by  the 
Choctaw,  Mr.  Hodgson  safely  reached  the  mission,  where  he 
was  warmly  received  by  the  missionaries.  Yet  the  Indian  is 
still  called  a  savage,  who  "cannot  be  educated  out  of  his  sav 
agery."  God  pity  such  ignorance,  and  forgive  their  duplici 
ty  in  assuming  to  be  enlightened  Christians,  and  yet  seek  to 
hand  down  to  the  latest  posterity  a  part  of  God's  created  In 
telligences — the  Red  Race — as  beings  incapable  of  being 
"educated  out  of  their  savagery." 

Mr.  Hodgson  was  duly  introduced  to  the  members  of  the 
mission,  and  then  to  the  school  of  native  American  pupils. 
and  expressed  his  surprise  as  well  as  heartfelt  gratifica 
tion  with  the  account  the  teachers  gave  of  the  uncommon  fa 
cility  with  which  they  acquired  knowledge.  After  remain 
ing  a  few  days,  Mr.  Hodgson  left,  and  was  accompanied  sev 
eral  miles  on  his  way  to  Brainard  by  Mr.  Kingsbury,  the 
missionary  station  established  five  years  previous,  among 
the  Cherokees  by  Mr.  Kingsbury  and  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Wil 
liams,  as  before  stated. 

Mr.  Hodgson,  in  a  letter  written  shortly  after  he  left 
Elliot,  thus  spoke  of  his  interview  with  Mr.  Kingsbury  in 
his  own  room  at  Elliot:  "A  log  cabin,  detached  from 
the  other  wooden  buildings,  in  the  middle  of  a  boundless 
forest,  in  an  Indian  country,  consecrated,  if  I  may  de  allow 
ed  the  expression,  by  standing  on  missionary  ground,  and 
by  forming  at  once  the  dormitory  and  the  sanctuary  of  a 
man  of  God;  it  seemed  to  be  indeed  the  prophet's  chamber, 
with  the  'bed  and  the  table,  the  stool  and  the  candlestick. 

"It  contained,  also,  a  little  book-case,  with  a  valuable 
selection  of  valuable  books,  periodicals,  biographical,  and 
devotional;  among- which  I  found  many  an  old  acquaintance 
in  this  foreign  land,  and  which  enabled  Mr.  Kingsbury,  in 
his  few  moments  of  leisure,  to  converse  with  many,  "who 
have  long  since  joined  the  'spirits  of  just  men  made  perfect,' 
or  to  sympathize  with  his  fellow-laborers  in  Staheite,  Africa, 
or  Hindoostan.  About  midnight  we  became  thirsty  with 
talking  so  much;  and  Mr.  Kingsbury  proposed  that  we 


walk  to  the  spring-,  at  a  little'  distance.  The  night  was 
beautifully  serene  after 'the  heavy  showers  of  the  preceding 
nig-ht;  and  the  coolness  of  the  air,  the  fresh  fragrance  of  the 
trees,  the  deep  stillness  of  the  midnight  hour,  and  the  soft 
light  which  an  unclouded  moon  shed  on  the  log-  cabins  of  the 
missionaries,  contrasted  with  the  dark  shadows  of  the  sur 
rounding-  forest,  impressed  me  with  feeling's  which  I  can 
never  forget."  In  regard  to  the  mission  family,  he  said: 
*kl  was  particularly  struck  with  their  humility,  with  their 
kindness  of  manner  towards  one  another,  and  the  little  at 
tentions  which  they  seemed  solicitous  to  reciprocate.  They 
spoke  very  lightly  of  their  privations,  and  of  the  trials  which 
the  world  supposes  to  be  their  greatest;  sensible,  as  they 
said,  that  these  are  often  experienced  in  at  least  as  great 
degree,  by  the  soldier,  the  sailor,  or  even  the  merchant. 

Yet,  in  this  country  these  trials  are  by  no  means  tri 
fling.  Lying  out  for  two  or  three  months,  in  the  woods, 
with  their  little  babes  in  tents  which  cannot  resist  the  rain 
here,  falling  in  torrents  such  as  I  never- saw  in  England, 
within  sound  of  the  nightly  howling  wolves,  and  occasionally 
visited  by  panthers,  which  have  approached  almost  to  the 
door,  the  ladies  must  be  allowed  to  acquire  some  courage; 
while,  during  many  season  of  the  year,  the  gentlemen  can 
not  go  20  miles  from  home  (and  they  are  often  obliged  to  go 
30  or  40  for  provisions)  without  swimming  their  horses  over 
four  of  five  creeks.  Yet,  as  all  their  inconveniences  are  suf 
fered  by  others  with  cheerfulness,  from  worldly  motives, 
they  would  wish  them  suppressed  in  the  missionary  reports, 
if  they  were  not  calculated  to  deter  many  from  engaging  as 
missionaries,  under  the  idea  that  it  is  an  easy,  retired  li^e. 
Their  real  trials  they  stated  to  consist  in  their  own  imper 
fections,  and  in  those  mental  maladies,  which  the  retirement 
of  a  desert  cannot  cure.  I  was  gratified  by  my  visit  to 
Elloit,  this  garden  in  a  moral  wilderness;  and  was  pleased 
with  the  opportunity  of  seeing  a  missionary  settlement  in  its 
infant  state,  before  "the  wounds  from  decent  separation  from 
kindred  and  friends  had  ceased  to  bleed,  and  habit  had  ren 
dered  the  missionaries  familiar  with  the  peculiarities  of  their 
novel  situation.  The  sight  of  the  children  also,  many  of 
them  still  in  Indian  costumes,  was  most  interesting.  I  could 
not  help  imagining,  that,  before  me,  might  be  some  Alfred  of 
this  western  world,  the  future  founder  of  institutions  which 
are  to  enlighten  and  civilize  his  country,  some  Choctaw 
Swartz  or  Elliot,  destined  to  r  disseminate  the  blessings  of 
Christianity  from  the  Mississippi  to  the  Pacific  from  the 
Gulf  of  Mexico  to  the  Frozen  sea.  I  contrasted  them  in  their 
.social,  their  moral,  and  their  religious  conditions,  with  the 


straggling  white  hunters  and  their  painted  faces,  who 
occasionally  stare  through  the  windows,  or,  with  the  half- 
naked  natives,  whom  we  had  seeri  a  few  nights  before,dancing- 
around  their  midnight  fires,  with  their  tomahawks  and 
scalping  knives,  rending  the  -  air  with  their  fierce  war- 
whoops,  or  making  the  woods  thrill  with  their  wild  yells. 

"But  they  form  a  still  stronger  contrast  with  the  poor  In 
dians,  whom  we  had  seen  on  the  frontier,  corrupted,  de 
graded,  debased  by  their  intercourse  with  English,  Irish,  or 
American  traders.  It  was  not  without  emotions,  that  I 
parted,  in  all  human  probability  forever  in  this  world,  from 
my  kind  and  interesting  friends,  and  prepared  to  return  to 
the  tumultuous  scenes  of  a  busy  world  from  which,  if  life  be 
spared,  my  thoughts  will  qften  stray  to  the  sacred  solitudes, 
of  Yallow  Busha,  as  a  source  of  the  most  grateful  and  re 
freshing  recollections." 

Soon  afterMr.  Hodgson  left  Elliot,  a  re-enforcement  of 
missionaries  arrived  at  Elliot  and  Mayhew  from  Massachu 
setts,  viz:  Messrs.  Smith,  Cushman,  Bardwell,  with  their 
families,  Byington,  Hooper.  Misses  Frisselle  and  Thacher 
f rom  Pennsylvania.  They  travelled  together  as  far  as  Pitts- 
burg,  Pennsylvania,  where  (November  4th,  1820)  they  took 
passage  on  a  large  flat  boat  called, at  that  day,  an  Ark,  and 
reached  the  Walnut  Hills  (now  Memphis,  Tennessee)  about ' 
the  last  of  Decem'ber,  There  Mr. Cushman  and  his  family, 
and  Mr.  Hooper,  took  a  wagon,  and  safely  arrived  at  May- 
hew  after  being  about  three  weeks  upon  the  road;  while  Mr- 
Smith  and  family  and  Mr.  Byington  and  Miss  Thacher  re- 
vmained  on  the  boat  until  they  reached  the  mouth  of  the  Yoh- 
shu-bah  (Yazoo);  and  Mr.  Bardwell  and  his  family  and  Miss 
Frisselle  remained  at  the  Walnut  Hills  to  look  after  the  in 
terests  of  the  property  of  the  mission,  which  had  been  there 
deposited  to  await  the  arrival  of  the  Choctaw  packet  to  carry 
it  to  Elliot  and  Mayhew.  But  the  river  rising  to  such  a 
height  as  to  render 'it  impracticable  to  travel  by  water,  Mr. 
Bardwell,  after  waiting  many  days  for  the  falling  of  the  river, 
procured  horses  upon  which  he  and  his  family  and  Miss 
Frisselle  rode  to  Elliot  through  the  wilderness  by  the  way 
of  little  paths  alone. 

A  short  time  before  the  arrival  of  the  above  mentioned 
missionaries  at  Elliot  and  Mayhew,  Mr.  Loring  S.  Williams, 
who  came  with  Mr.  Kingsbury  to  the  Choctaw  Nation,  trav 
elled  over  .that  Nation  to  learn  the  views  of  the  Choctaw  peo 
ple  in  regard  to  the  establishment  of  churches  and  schools 
among  them,  and  whom  he  found  everywhere  delighted  with 
the  idea.  In  his  travels  he  visited,  among  many  others,  a 
point  on  the  Old  Natchez  Trace;  (to  which  I  will  again  refer) 

HISTORY    OF   THE  INDIANS.  '  145 

called  French  Camp,  about  half  way  between  Elliott  and 
Mayhew  where  he  eventually  settled  with  his  family,  opened 
a  school  and  both  preached  to  and  taught  the  Choctaws,  and 
God  greatly  blessed  him  in  his  glorious  work. 
i_IZ'In  tne  meantime,  Mr.  Kingsbury  met  all  their  chiefs  in  a 
great  council  near  and  explained  to  them  the  nature  and  de 
sign  of  the  missions  being  established  in  the  Nation;  and  to 
which  a  chief  thus  responded:  "I  be  not  used  to  make  a 
talk  before  white  man,  but  when  my  heart  feel  glad,  me  can 
say  it.  Me  and  my  people  have  heard  your  talk  before,  but 
never  understand  this  business  so  well  as  now,  that  the 
missionaries  WORK  FOR  CHOCTAWS  WITHOUT  PAY;  that  they 
leave  their  homes,  and  all  for  good  of  Choctaws.  We  are 
ignorant.  We  know  when  day  come,  and  when  night  come. 
That  be  all  they  know." 

Thus  was  manifested  the  eagerness  of  those  ancient 
Choctaws,  as  well  as  all  their  race  from  the  days  of  Elliot, 
the  early  Apostle  to  the  Red  man  of  North  America,  down 
to  Cyrus  Kingsbury,  the  Apostle  of  the  Choctaws; 
and  thus  it  would  have  been  down  to  the  pres 
ent  day,  but  for  the  interference  with  and  pulling 
down  the  labors  of  those  men  of  God,  by  the  hands  of  those 
white  men  of  the  devil,  whose  howls  are  heard  from  the  cen 
tre  to  circumference  of  the  land,  even  this  day,  "Open  up  to 
white  settlement !  Open  up  to  white  settlement !" 

But  now  missions  'beg-an  to  be  established  in  various 
parts  of  the  Choc  taw  Nation;  and  now  was  also  seen  the  long 
closed  gates  of  an  age  of  moral  and  intellectual  darkness, 
through  wrhich  even  the  wing  of  .conjecture  is  unable  to  ex 
plore  in  its  flight,  swinging  open  to  the  first  echo  of  the  ap 
proaching  footsteps  of  those  pioneers  of  the  Cross  bearing 
and  bringing  the  glad  tidings  of  peace  and  good  will  to  the 
Choctaws,  and  commending  the  religion  of  Jesus  Christ  to 
them,  not  more  by  their  learning  than  by  their  life;  and  of 
each  of  whom,  both  men  and  women,  it  truly  might  be  said, 
Israelites  "in  whom  there  is  no  guile."  But  the  ever  watch 
ful  and  closely  observing  Choctaws  at  once  learned  to  justly 
appreciate  the  simple  beauty  of  such  lives  as  theirs,  never 
before  seen  nor  even  heard  of,  in  all  their  knowledge  of  and 
intercourse  with  the  White  Race.  Consequently,  they  held 
them  in  great  respect  and  reverence;  and  even  to  this  day, 
though  all  have  passed  from  their  toils  below  to  their  rewards 
above,  Mr.  Cyrus  Kingsbury,  the  last  of  that  noble  little 
band  of  Christian  heroes  and  heroines,  dying  June  27th,  1871, 
aged  83  years,.  7  months  and  4  days,  while  their  names  live 
in  the  memory  of  the  present  generation  of  the  Choctaws; 
since,  in  all  the  years  of  their  long  lives  of  labor  and  love 


146  HISTORY    OF    THE    INDIANS. 

among  them,  they  did  them  no  wrong-,  but  only  good,  and 
thus  proving  themselves  to  be  their  real  friends  and  bene 
factors,  who  came  to  them,  not  with  soldiers  and  guns  as 
their  emblems  of  peace,  friendship  and  good  will,  but  with 
the  Bible  alone  by  whose  doctrines  universal  friendship, 
peace  and  brotherhood  may  be  successfully  and  permanently 
established  among  all  man-kind,  of  all  nations  and  of  every 
tongue;  and  WAS  successfully  and  permanently  established 
between  the  missionaries  and-the  Indians  every  where  upon 
the  North  American  continent,  from  the  first  sermon 
preached  to  them  by  John  Elliot  down  the  flight  of  years  to 
the  last  sermon  preached  to  them  by  Cyrus  Kingsbury.  A 
truth  incontrovertible,  too,  clear  too  certain  to  admit  of  dis 
pute.  And  had  the  love  of  God  and  one  veneration  of  his  pre 
cepts,  as  set  forth  in  the  Bible,  governed  the  American  peo 
ple  in  all  their  dealings  with  the  Indians,  as  did  those  early 
missionaries  to  that  noble  race  of  God's  created  intelligences, 
they  would,  long  since,  have  been  a  part  and  parcel  of  our 
nationality  filling  their  nook  and  corner  of  our  confederacy 
with  gloriously  redeemed  manhood  and  womanhood  that 
would  to-day  triumphantly  stand  the  scrutiny  and  verdict  of 
the  civilized  and  Christian  world.  But  alas,  we  tried  to  force 
upon  them  the  falsehood  that  they  were  inferior  beings,  and 
justly  failed;  and  will  ever  fail  so  long  as  a  North  American 
Indian  lives  to  hurl  the  idiotic  notion  back  into  our  teeth, 
though  the  howls  of  the  modern  idiots,  who  still  strive  to 
diabolify  the  noble  but  unfortunate  Red  Race,  disturb  the 
quiet  of  earth  with  "No  good  Indian  but  a  dead  Indian," 
"Once  an  Indian,  always  an  Indian"  exterminate  the  red 
skins;  shoot  down  the  "bucks  as  rabid  wolves,"  followed  by 
the  doxology  upon  that  "Harp  aof  thousands  .strings."  "Open 
up  their  few  remainidg  acres  of  land  to  settlement  for  the 
children  of  the  Lord." 

Many  parents  and  friends  attended  the  closing  exercises 
of  the  first  session  of  the  Mayhew  school,  and  were  delighted 
at  the  improvement  of  tire  children,  and  the  day  was  a  happy 
one  both  to  parents  and  pupils.  Amasholih'ubih,  accompa 
nied  by  many  of  his  chieftains  and  warriors,  also  attended 
the  examination,  and  made  the  following  remarks  to  the 
school:  "Such  a  thing  was  not  known  here  when  I  was  a 
boy.  I  had  heard  of  it,  but  did  not  expect  to  see  it.  I  re 
joice  that  I  have  lived  to  see  it.  You  must  mind  your  teach 
ers,  and  learn  all  you  can.  I  hope 'I  shall  live  to  see  our 
councils  filled  with  the  boys  who  are  now  in  this  school,  and 
that  you  will  then  know  much  more  thah  we  know  and  do 
much  better  than  we  do."  And  he  did  live  to  see  it.  All  re 
turned  to  their  homes  highly  pleased.  At  the  opening  of  the 


next  session  of  the  school,  Amosholih'ubih  brought  two  of 
his  sons  and  a  nephew  to  enter  the  school:  also  an  aged  Choc- 
taw  man  brought  his  grandson  and  .daughter  to  enter  the 
school,  and  said  to  Mr.  Kingsbury:  "I  now  give  them  to 
you,  to  fake  them  by  the  hand  and  heart,  and  hold  them  fast. 
I  will  now  only  hold  them  by  the  end  of  their  fingers." 

To  the  examination  at  Mayhew  in  1822,  many  Choctaws 
came  from  a  long  distance,  and  the  whole  Nation,  from  cen 
tre  to  circumference,  seemed  awake  upon  the  subject  of  im 
provement,  morally,  intellectually,  and  religiously.  But 
alas,  the  devil  was  not  asleep,  but  secretly  busy  in  trying  to 
thwart  the  good  efforts  of  both  the  Choctaws  and  mission 
aries,  by  influencing  his  abandoned  white  subjects,  who  had 
fled  from  the  religious  restraints  of  their  homes  in  the 
States,  to  misrepresent  the  designs  of  the  missionaries,  and, 
in  a  few  instances,  succeeded  in  inducing  parents  to  take 
their  children  from  under  the  care  and  instruction  of  the 
schools.  But  many  Choctaws  came  the  distance  of  70  miles 
to  learn  the  truth  of  the  reports;  and,  as  might  be  expected, 
returned  satisfied  of  their  falsity,  and  better  pleased  with  the 
missionaries,  their  churches  and  schools,  than  ever  before; 
and  thus  was  the  devil  and  his  white  subjects  gloriously  de 
feated  in  their  nefarious  designs. 

Soon  after,  a  brother  of  Captain  Cole  (who  died  ten  or 
twelve  miles  east  of  Atoka  in  the  present  Choctaw  Nation, 
Indian  Territory,  in  the  year  1884,  at  the  advanced  age  of 
nearly  four  score  and  ten  years)  sent  five  children  to  school, 
and  a  few  months  later  sent  another,  but  the  school  was  so 
crowded  that  the  sixth  could  not  be  admitted,  and  for  causes 
not  known,  the  father  sent  and  took  awray  the  five  who  mani 
fested  the  greatest  sorrow7  in  having  to  leave  the  school. 
But  Captain  Cole,  after  more  room  had  been  provided,  sent 
a  petition  with  the  signature  of  himself  an'd  eight  chiefs 
urging-  the  propriety  of  returning  all  the  six  children  to  the 
school;  and  not  only  the  six  were  returned,  but  also  six 
others,  besides  application  for  two  others,  one  of  whom  was 
his  son,  whom  he  gave  to  the  missionaries,  with  the  words: 
"I  want  him  to  remain  with  you  until  he  obtains  a  good  edu 
cation,  if  it  takes  TEN  years." 

Mrs.  Kingsbury  died  at  Mayhew,  on  the  15th  day  of 
September,  1822,  and  wras  buried  in  the  Mayhew  cemetery — 
a  true  and  self-sacrificing  Christian  woman,  who  gave  up  all 
for  the  sake  of  assisting  to  lead  the  Red  man  of  North  Am 
erica  into  the  fold  of  her  Divine  Master.  Her  noble  husband's 
body  rests  from  its  earthly  labors,  in  a  Choctaw  cemetery 
near  Old  Boggy  Depot,  Indian  Territory,  among  the  people 
he  loved  so  well,  and  for  whose  good  he  labored  so  faithfully 


for  53  long-  and  eventful  years.  She  left  two  little  boys, 
Cyrus  and  John,  the  last  mentioned  also  lies  in  the  same- 
cemetery  near  thegrave'of  his  noble  father;  the  former,  if  alive, 
I  know  not  where  he  is.  The  last  I  heard  of  him,  (years  ago) 
he  was  living-  in  Iowa..  Both  were  the  playmates  of  my  child 
hood's  years,  never  to  be  forgotten. 

Ah"!  How  those  names  stir  the  memories  that  still  clus 
ter  around  my  early  youth!  We  were  five  missionary  boys, 
Cyrus  and  John,  my  two  brothers  and  myself,  all  playmates 
at  that  ag-e  when  we  felt  that  we  were  "monarchs  of  all  we 
survey"  and  truly  we  reigned  rig-ht  royally.  But  with  added 
years  came  the  "truth  that  the  world  Avas  not  so  eag-erly 
moulded  to  our  wishes,  for  life  soon  taught  its  realities  to  us 
as  to  all  poor  humanity  whose  days  are  full  of  sorrow,  and 
lives  but  a  span.  rests  me,  to  pause,  here  and  there, 
in  the  midst  of  hurry  and  care,  to  sit  in  this  my  ang-le-nook, 
among-  the  present  Choctaws  Indian  Territory,  and  ponder 
o'er  the  joys  of  by-gone  clays,  when  I  was  a  lifth  part  of  the 
happy,  boyhood  group  that  each  day  gathered  together  in  the 
long  ago.  How  well  I  remember  it,  and  how  warm  my  heart 
grows  at  the  thought.  The  cold  adamantine  wall  that  has 
enclosed  me  in  my  contact  with  a  busy  and  seemingly  heart 
less  world  crumbles  to  dust -and  falls  away,  leaving  me  ag'ain 
a  tender,  confiding,  loving  boy.  Ah!  That  beautiful  long 
ago!  when  I  received  earth  as  full  of  sunshine  without  alloy, 
and  sweet  song  without  a  discordant  note. 

Those  were  days  wherein  the  world  seemed  to  have 
reached  its  perfection;  days,  when  all  things  seemed  in  uni 
son  with  harmony,  as  if  Nature  would  indulge  her  offspring; 
when  all  things,  animate  and  inanimate,  seemed  to  give 
signs  of  satisfaction  and  contentment;  and  even  the  horses 
and  cattle,  scattered  here  and  there  in  little  groups,  some 
reposing  on  the  green  sward  and  others  grazing  around, 
seemed  to  be  indulging  in  tranquil  thoughts.  Ah  !  the  mem 
ory  of  those  days  makes  me  long-  once  more  to  throw  myself 
into  the  arms  of  loving  Nature,  as  in  the  days  of  yore;  but 
not  as  she  smiles  in  well-trimmed  woody  groves  or  in  culti-, 
vated  fields  of  grain;  but  Nature,  as  she  was  in  that  age  when 
creation  was  complete  and  unadorned  by  human  hand.  Yes, 
I  would  go  again,  even  in  this  my  life's  far  decline — back  to 
the  land  whereof  none  then  the  history  knew  ;  back  even  to  . 
the  Red  man,  whom  I  am  not  ashamed  to  own  I  love;  to 
whom  civilized  vice  was  then  unknown;  where  on  every  side 
stretched  away  on  illimitable  forest  scarcely  to  be  distin 
guished  in  the  shadows  of  night  from  the  hills  beyond; 
while  the  flowing  streamlet,  here  and  there,  clearly  gleamed 
through  the  open  glades  as  the  ripple  of  night  breeze  gently 



stirred  the  forest  leaves.  But  if  you,  whose  eyes  may  some 
-day  fall  upon  these,  my  written  thoughts,  I  pray  you  perse 
vere,  since  what  I  may  have  to  tell  you  may  not  be  without 
interest,  as  I  have  not  told  it  before  nor  will  I  again. 

Though  the  death  of  Mrs.  Kingsbury  was  a  great 
bereavement  and  trial  to  Mr.  Kingsbury,  yet  he  faltered  not 
in  the  cause  of  his  Divine  Master  among*  his  loved  Choctaws. 
But  two  weeks  after  he  started  upon  a  long-  journey  in  the 
southern  part  of  the  nation  to  find  suitable  points  for  estab 
lishing-  churches  and  schools  among-  the  Choctaws,  that  their 
children  mig-ht  receive  an  education  near  home,  and  also 
relieve  the  missions  from  all  expenses  except  that  of  the  sup 
port  of  teachers.  After  several  days  travel,  he  arrived  at  the 
home  of  the  celebrated  chiefs  of  the  Choctaws,  Apushamata- 
hahubih,  where  he  met  Mr.  Jewell;  thence,  they  journeyed 
together  to  a  point  one  hundred  miles  distant,  called  by  the 
Choctaws  Oktak  Falaiah  (Ok-tark,  (Prairie),  Far-lai-ah 
{Long.)  )  There  they  laid  the  foundations  for  the  establish 
ment  of  a  school,  which  was  afterwards  named  Emmaus,  and 
was  near  the  line  between  Mississippi  and  Alabama.  At  Ok 
tak  Falaiah  they  made  the  acquaintance  of  Henry  Nail,  an 
aged  white  man,  who  had  been  adopted  by  the  Choctaws  by 
his  marriage,  many  years  before,  to  a  Choctaw  woman.  He 
told  Mr.  Kingsbury  and  Jewell  that  he  had  twelve  children 
living  and  one  dead.  He  was  a  chief  among  the  Choctaws  for 
many  years,  and  is  the  progenitor  of  the  Nail  family  among 
the  Choctaws.  But  I  will  speak  of  him  again  more  definitely. 
Thence  the  two  missionaries,  in  company  with  Joel  Nail,  a 
-son  of  Henry  Nail,  who  lived  near  his  father  with  a  wife  and 
several  small  children,  went  to  Okla  Hunnali  pro.  Ok-lah 
(people)  Hun-nar-lih,  (Six).  While  en  route,  they  unexpect 
edly  came  upon  a  large  company  of  Choctaws  assembled  for 
.a  ball  play.  As  soon  as  they  ascertained  that  one  of  the 
white  men  was  "Na-sho-ba-An-o-wa,  (Nar-sho-bah,  (Wolf), 
Arn-o-wah  (Walking)  (a  name  given  to  Mr.  Kingsbury  by 
the  Choctaws,  though  one  foot  was  badly  deformed  by  the 
cut  of  a  scythe  when  a  boy)  of  whom  they  had  heard,  they 
postponed  their  ball  play,  and  both  chiefs  and  warriors 
gathered  at  once  around  him,  and  urgently  solicited  him  to 
give  them  "a  talk"  about  schools.  He  willingly  complied, 
-while  they  listened  with  the  deepest  interest  and  in  profound 
silence  to  his  propositions,  and  manifested  unassumed  joy  at 
the  prospect  of  a  school.  Mr.  Kingsbury  then  bade  them  a 
friendly  adieu,  and  the  three  continued  their  journey  thence 
to  Okla  Hunnali,  which  comprised  six  clans,  and  contained 
2164  inhabitants. 

Aboha  Kullo  Humma,   (pro.  Ar-bo-hah')    (House;   Kullo 


(strong)  Humma  (red)  or,. in  our  phraseology — (Strong-  red 
house — but  in  the  Choctaw,  Red  Fort)  was  the  chief  of  Okla 
Hunnali.  The  clans  of  the  Choctaws  .were  all  perpetuated 
in  the  female  line.  When  a  man  married,  he  was  adopted 
into  the  family  of  his  wife,  and  her  brothers  had  more  au 
thority  over  her  children  than  her  husband;  therefore,  when 
a  lover  wished  to  marry  a  girl,  he  consulted  her  uncles,  and 
if  they  consent  to  the  marriage,  the  .father  and  mother  ap 
proved.  Those  of  the  same  clan  were  never  allowred  to  inter- 
marrv.  A  Choctaw  regarded  marrying  a  girl  of  his  own  clan 
with  the  same  horror  as  the  white  man  did  to  marry  his  own 
sister;  and  equally  so  did  the  Choctaw  girl. 

Aboha  Kullo  Humma  was hig-hly  elated  at  the  proposition 
of  Mr.  Kingsbuiw  to  establish  a  school  among  his  clans,  or  peo 
ple;  and  earnestly  importuned  Mr.  Kingsbury to  establish  two- 
inhis  district;  ajid  such  were  his  pleadings  that  Mr.  Kingsbury 
finally  agreed  to  write  a  letter  to  the;  Prudential  Committee, 
to  solicit  more  teachers,  and  Aboha  Kullo  Humma  also  wrote 
a  letter,  and  sent  it  with  Mr.  Kingsbury's,  a  true  copy  of 
which  I  here  insert: 

Six  TOWNS,  Choctaw  Nation,  October  18th,  1822/ 

"The  first  law  I  have  made  is,  that  when  my  warriors 
go  over  the  line  among  the  white  people,  and  buy  whiskey, 
and  bring  it  into  the  Nation  to  buy  up  the  blankets,  and 
guns,  and  horses  of  the  Red  people,  and  get  them  drunk; 
the  whiskey  is  to  be  destroyed.  The  whiskey  drinking  is 
wholly  stopped  among  my  warriors.  The  Choctaw  women 
sometimes  killed  their  infants,  when  they  did  not  want  to 
provide  for  them.  I  have  made  a  law  to  have  them  pun 
ished,  that  no  more  children  be  killed."  ^ 

This  law  had  actually  been  passed  and  was  then  in  full 
force,  as  had  been  exemplified  in  the  case  of  a  woman  who 
had  been  tried  and  convicted  for  killing  her  infant,  a  short 
time  prior  to  Mr.  Kingsbury's  visit  to  Okla  Hunnali.  She 
was  tied  to  a  tree  and  whipped  by  the  officers  of  justice  until 
she  fainted;  and  not  only  the  woman  was  whipped,  but  her 
husband  also  received  the  same  punishment  for  not  restrain 
ing  his  wife  in  the  destruction  of  the  child.  But  thus  con 
tinues  Aboha  Kullo  Humma. 

"The  Choctaws  formerly  stole  hog's  and  cattle,  and  kill 
ed  and  ate  them.  I  have  organized  a  company  of  faithful 
warriors  to  take  every  man  w^ho  steals,  and  tie  him  to  a  tree, 
and  give  him  thirty-nine  lashes.". 

^        This  law  of  punishing  theft  by  whipping  has  never   been 
repealed;  but  has  been  amended  to  this  extent,  and  so  stands. 


to-day — being*  fifty  lashes  on  the  bare  back  for  the  first  theft; 
a  hundred  for  the  second, and  death  by  the  rifle  for  the  third. 

"The  Choctaws  have,  sometimes,  run  off  with  each  oth 
er's  wives.  We  have  now  made  a  law,  that  those  who  do  so, 
shall  be  whipped  thirty-nine  lashes;  and  if  a  woman  runs 
away  from  her  husband  with  another  man,  she  is  also  to  be 
whipped  in  the  same  manner.  The  number  of  men,  women, 
and  children  in  the  Six  Towns,  is  2164.  I  want  the  good 
white  people  to  send  men  and  women  to  get  up  a  school  in 
my  district;  I  want  them  to  do  it  quick,  for  I  am  growing  old 
and  want  to  see  the  good  work  before  I  die.  We  have  al 
ways  been  passed  by.  Other  parts  of  the  Nation  have 
schools;  we  have  not;  we  have  made  the  above  laws  because  we 
wish  to  follow  the  ways  of  the  white  people.  We  hope  they 
will  assist  us  in  getting  our  children  educated.  This  is  the 
first  time  I  write  a  letter.  Last  fall  the  first  time  we  make 
lawsi}  I  say  no  more.  I  have  told  my  wants:  I  hope  you 
will  not  forget  me."  "ABOHA  KULLO  HUMMA." 

It  is  a  truth,  though  unknown  to  thousands,  yet  contra 
dicted  by  thousands  who  do  know  it  that,  from  an  unwilling 
ness  to  admit  anything  which  the  truth  of  a  desire  in  the 
Indians  to  become  a  civilized  and  Christian  people,  Aboha 
Kullo  Humma's  letter  expressed  the  true  sentiments  of 
every  tribe  of  North  American  Indians,  to  whom  the  mis 
sionaries  have  gone,  from  the  days  of  the  missionary  Elliot 
down  the  flight  of  years  to  the  present.  Instead  of  the  bread 
of  eternal  life  for  which  they  so  earnestly  pleaded,  except  the 
few  crumbs  the  devoted  and  self-sacrificing  missionaries 
gave  them,  we  have  given  them  leaden  bullets;  while  the 
iron  wheel  of  our  merciless  venality  rolled  over  them,  ancl 
still  rolls  on  like  a  juggernaut  crushing  them  by  turns,  some 
quickly,  and  some  later  on,  to  us  it  mattered  not,  so  in  the 
end  all  were  crushed,  and  we  go  in  to  take  their  long  coveted 
land;  though  they  fled  hither  and  thither,  and  plead  for  mercy, 
yet  the  appeal  was  vain,  for  the  blind  fury  of  our  avarice 
(deaf  as  the  adder)  still  thunders  on  only  to  stop,  it  seems, 
when  the  last  of  the  Red  Race  shall  be  numbered  with  the 
past  and  our  cup  of  iniquity  be  full,  that  the  God  of  justice 
may  write  against  us — Tekel,  that  our  ship  of  State  may  also 
go  down  in  the  vorte  caused  by  the  sinking  of  theirs. 

From  1822,  to  the  time  they  were  dispossessed  of  every 
foot  of  their^ ancient  domains,  and  driven  away  to  a  then 
wilderness,  the  schools  increased  in  numbers,  and  the  ordi 
nances  of  religion  were  augmented,  and  a  deeper  interest 
manifested  every  where  over  their  country — never  witnessed 
before;  as  they,  previous  to  that  time,  had  had  intercourse 
with  the  debased  of  the  White  Race,  by  whom  they  had  been 


taught  in  the  school  of  vice,  and  nothing-  but  vice:  therefore 
the  North  American  Indians  have  been  accused,  from  first 
to  last,  of  having-  no  conception  of  an  over-ruling  providence 
— the  Creator  of  all  things,  and  an  effort  has  been  made  to 
sustain  the  charge  in  that  they  believed  in  the  supernatural 
power  of  their  rain-makers,  their  fair-weather-makers,  and 
the  incantations  of  their  doctors.  But  the  charge  is  utterly 
false.  'Tis  true,  they  relied  on  their  rain-makers,  fair- 
weather-makers  and  the  conjuring  of  their  doctors,  through 
the  belief  that,  by  prayer  and  supplication,  those  person 
ages  had  been  endowed  with  supernatural  powers  by  the 
Great  Spirit,  (their  God  and  ours),  in  whom  all  Indians  be 
lieved,  and  with  greater  veneration  than  the  whites,  and  I  de 
fy  successful  contradiction.  They  sought  the  aid  of  the 
rainmakers,  doctors,  &c,  just  as  we  do  the  prayers  of  our 
preahers  in  behalf  of  our  sick,  and  for  our  rain,  etc.  Now, 
whatmore  did  or  do  the  Red  Race  than  the  White?  Noth 
ing.  Yet  the  Indians  must  be  called  infidels;  though  there 
are  today,  and  always  have  been,  ten  thousand  white  ifidels 
to  one  Indian,  and  always  will  be.  The  Indians  have  also 
been  called  savage,  and  are  still  so  called,  because  he  suf 
fered  himself  to  be  tortured  with  fear  and  anxiety  in  the 
belief  of  the  existence  of  witches  and  ghosts,  and  that  many 
were  slain  because  they  were  believed  to  deal  in  witchcraft. 
But  say  you,  "Remember  Illichih!"  I  do;  but  also  point  you 
back  to  Cotton  Mather.  The  slayers  of  poor  Illichih  knew  noth 
ing  of  the  injunctions  of  the  Bible,  and  were  called  savages; 
but  Cotton  Mather  was  an  expounder  of  the  Bible,  and  his 
adherents  the  professed  believers  of  its  teachings,  but  he 
and  they  are  called  Christians.  Now  judge  ye,  (if  ye  can  do 
so  impartially)  if  "savage"  is  recorded  in  heaven  against  the 
slayers  of  Illichih,  is  "Christian"  also  recorded  there  against 
the  slayers  of  those  charged  with  witchcraft  in  Massachu 
setts?  Is  it  just  that  the  North  American  Indians  alone 
must  still  be  held  up  to  view  by  the  stigmatizing  name  Sav 
age,  though  years  ago,  they  freed  themselves,  as  a  people,  of 
all  such  nonsense;  while  thousands  of  the  White  Race  among 
the  civilized  nations,  our  own  included,  are  to-day  the  slaves 
of  that  most  foolish  of  all  foolish  superstitions,  yet  demand 
to  be  called  civilized  and  a'Christian  people? 

Mayhew,  the  second  mission  established  among  the 
Choctaws,  as  before  stated,  was  located  on  the  eastern  bor 
der  of  a  magnificent  prairie  that  stretched  away  to  the  west 
and  south  in  billowy  undulations  presenting  a  scene  of 
fascinating  loveliness  unsurpassed,  when  arrayed  in  its 
dress  of  summer's  green,  dotted  with  innumerable  flowers 
of  various  colors;  and  the  country  in  all  directions  for 

^J  HISTORY    OF    THK   INDIANS.  153 

miles  away,  was  rich  in  all  the  boundless  extravagance  of 
picturesque  beauty,  where  Nature's  most  fascinating"  feat 
ures  everywhere  presented  themselves  carelessly  disposed 
in  wild  munificence,  unimproved,  and  indeed  unimprovable 
by  the  hand  of  art.  Truly  the  lovely  situation  of  that  mis 
sion  is  still  fresh  in  memory,  though  more  than  a  half  cen 
tury  has  passed  away;  and  to-day,  as  of  that  long  ago,  the 
eye  of  memory  sees  the  far  extending  prairie  on  the  south 
and  west,  and  the  boundless  forests  on  the  north  and  east, 
with  their  hills  and  vales  of  romantic  loveliness,  and  creeks 
and  rivulets  combining  to  give  a  moral  interest  to  the  pleas 
ure  derived  from  the  contemplation  of  Nature  in  her  bright 
est,  happiest  and  most  varied  aspect.  Ah!  the  imagination 
^could  but  fold  its  pinions,  and  stand  in  wondering  admira 
tion  amid  the  sublime  solitudes  of  the  grand  forests  of  that 
day,  while  hill  and  dale  seemed  as  entrancing  to  the  eye  with 
their  beautifully  draped  garments  of  green  as  the  weird 
music  of  the  winds  amid  their  branches  was  to  the  ears  of 
fairies  played  on  mystic  Memnon's  harp  tuned  to  audible 
minstrelsy  under  the  glancing  rays  of  the  morning  and  even 
ing  sun. 

Their  horses,  cattle  and  hogs,  which  they  possessed  in 
•great  numbers,  were  fed  alone  from  Nature's  ample  store 
house  filled  at  all  times  with  the  richest  varieties  of  proven 
der-grass,  cane,  acorns  and  nuts;  while  game  of  many  vari 
eties  roamed  over  their  forests  undisturbed  only  as  necessity 
demanded  their  destruction.  Birds  of  many  kinds,  and  of 
various  plumage,  added  their  enchantment  to  the  scene. 

The  missionaries  found  the  Cherokees,  Choctaws  and 
Chickasaws  in  their  native  state — that  of  mortality  unadorned; 
yet  struggling  into  the  dawn  of  civilization  as  those  who  had 
heard  afar  the  roar  of  the  world's  civilization  and  roved  im 
patiently  to  the  shore;  and  they  soon  learned  that  even  the 
despised,  defamed  and  down-trodden  Indian  rejected  not 
God's  law — improvement;  nor  was  wanting  in  ability,  while 
their  sentiments  found  .an  expositor,  and  every  feeling  and 
oracle  in  his  untutored  breast.  Therefore,  they  sought  to 
make  them  religious  through  their  best  feelings  rather  than 
their  worst;  through  their  gratitude  and  affections,  rather 
than  their  fears  and  calculations  of  risk  and  future  punish 
ment;  and  they  found  by  giving  them  the  least  advantage  of 
instruction  they  glided  into  refinement;  and  also  found  that 
there  was  that  sentiment  in  the  Indian  that  gives  delicacy  to 
thought,  and  tact  to  manner;  for  they  listened  and  caught 
knowledge  in  the  natural  way  of  beneficence  and  power  of 
God;  of  the  mystic  and  spiritual  history  of  man;  and  philan 
thropic  missionaries  were  charmed  by  their  attention.  How 

154  HISTORY  OF  THK  INDIANS.          •> 

true  that,  in  the  nature  of  man — the  humblest  to  the  hardest 
—there  is  something-  that  lives  in  all  of  the  beautiful  or  the 
fortunate  which  hope  or  desire  have  appropriated,  even  in  the 
vanities  of  a  childish  dream!  At  the  time  of  the  advent  of  the 
missionaries,  the  Cherokees,  occupied  the  now  State  of  Ten 
nessee,"  the  Chickasaws  the  north  part  of  the  now  State  of 
Mississippi,  and  the  Choctaws  the  south  part  including- 
also  the  western  part  of  the  now  State  of  Alabama  and  the 
eastern  part  of  the  now  State  of  Louisiana.  Those  early 
missionaries  (both  men  and  women),  who  offered  their  lives 
to  the  cause  and  thoug'ht  no  more  of  themselves,  were  of 
strong-  character,  firm  resolution  and  of  fine  tastes  and 
ideals;' and  of  those  missionary  women'it  may  be  truthfully 
added, 'the}T  were  intelligent  and  elegant  as  they  were  heroic; 
and  the  lovers  of  missionary  lore  oft  read  with  delight  the 
ideal  romance  of  their  lives. 

They  first  studied  and  made  themselves  acquainted  with 
the  various  dialects  of  the  Indians'  complicated  languages— - 
difficult  because  of  the  combination  of  signs  and  wrords  that 
cannot  be  reduced  to  any  known  rule;  they  administered  to- 
the  wants  of  the  sick  and  dressed  the  wounded;  they  braved 
sickness  and  death  and  p-reached  the  tiding-s  of  peace  oil 
earth  and  g-ood  will  to  men;  and  to-day,  thoug-h,  long-  since,.' 
all  have  g-one  to  receive  their  reward — a  blissful  immortality 
amid  eternity's  scenes — yet  their  names  and  deeds  of  right 
eousness  stand  triumphant  and  revered,  while  over  them  and 
those  whom  they -taught  and  led,  the  Choctaw,  the  Chicka- 
saw,  the  Creek,  the  Cherokee,  the  Seminole — waves  the 
white  banner  whose  only  symbol  is  the  Cross  of  the  World's- 

But  in  their  early  labors  of  love  among  the  above  named 
people  what  did  those  selfsacrificing  men  and  women  find? 
They  found  the  Indians  confidence  was  easily  gained,  and  as. 
easily  retained  by  just  and  humane  treatment,  they  found 
that  he  was  not  vicious  nor  bloodthirsty,  an  untamable 
savage,  as  he  was  and  ever  has  been  so  unjustly  represented 
to  be;  they  found  that,  unlike  his  white  defamer,  he  never 
was  profane.  He  took  not  in  vain  the  name  of  his  God,  the 
Great  Spirit,  nor  the  names  of  the  subordinate  deities,  to 
whom  his  religion  taught  him  the  supreme  Great  Spirit  dele 
gated  supernatural  powers  among  men.  Whatever  he  loved, 
he  called  it  good;  whatever  he  hated,  he  called  it  bad.  Of 
whiskey  he  said:  uO-ka-ki-a-chuk-ma,  Water"  not  good,  that 
was  all. 

They  found  the  men  to  be,  to  a  great  extent,  even  as  the 
whites,  good  husbands,  loving  fathers,  and  the  most  faithful 
of  friends;  the  women,  devoted  wives,  adoring  mothers,  and 


equally  true  as  friends,  and  both  men   and  women,   truthful 
to  the  letter,  all  scorning1  a  lie  and  a  liar. 

'They  found  among-  all  the  men  the  attributes  of  the 
heroes,  in  truth,  honesty,  fidelity  and  patriotism,  unsur 
passed  in  the  annals  of  the  human  race,  all  sustained  by  in 
controvertible  testimony  for  two  centuries  past;  yet,  with 
mair^  foibles  common  to  the  fallen  race  of  man,  but  with  few 
of  the  prominent  and  debasing"  vices  of  the  White  Pace. 

They  found  them  to  be  a  race  that  defied  the  tortures  of 
an  enemy  to  produce  a  groan,  to  shed  a  tear  or  manifest 
.pain.  Stake  man  or  woman  to  the  ground  and  burn  them  to 
death  by  degrees,  and  they  would  expire  without  a  moan 
chanting  his  or  her  death-song  defiantly  to  the  last  gasp.  t  '"; 
They  found  them,  in  the  literal  sense  of  the  word,  to  b:e 
communists.  Whatever  they  had  was  cheerfully  bestowed 
to  any  needy  of  their  tribe.  "Will  I  let  my  brother  suf 
fer  when  I  have  plenty?"  replied  an  Indian  to  a  white  man.  who 
advised  economy  by  saving-  his  superfluous  meat  against  the 
scarcity  of  winter  instead  of  dividing*  it  among1  his  fellows. 
His 'generosity  and  his  hospitality  were  extended  even  to  an 
enemy — whose  life  was  safe  if  he  entered  his  cabin  and  par 
took  even  a  drink  of  water;  for  the  Indian's  laws  of  hospital 
ity  were  inviolate.  ' ',' ' 
The  religion  of  Jesus  Christ  fell  upon  the  ear  of  the  Red 
man  as  a  bright  and  beautiful  elucidation  of  his  own  vague 
but  often  sublime  conceptions,  and,  under  the  mild  teaching's 
of  the  devoted  missionaries,  he  adapted  himself  to  the  spirit 
of  the  age  and  accepted  his  ne\v  surroundings  because  the 
power  which  led  him  on  to  civilization  was  that  of  the  Soldier 
of  the  Cross  instead  of  the  sword. 

The  missionaries  also  found  them  with  the  knowledge  of 
good  and  evil;  they  too  were  embued  with  the  eternal  princi 
ples  of  love  and  hate;  feeling  that  they  were  by  Nature  in 
tended  to  be  free,  yet  feeling  that  they  were  slaves  to  circum 
stances — alike  with  the  human  race— seeking  the  good  yet 
too  oft  finding  the  bad;  but  not  being  able  to  attribute  both 
the  good  and  the  evil  to  the  same  All-Wise  Being,  they  im 
agined  that  these  gods  were  alike  anxious  to  do  them  service 
—the  one  to  give  them  pain  and  sorrow,  and  the  other  pros 
perity  and  pleasure;  the  one  ever  thwarting  them  in  their 
undertaking,  the  other  encouraging  and  assisting  them; 
they,  therefore,  desired,  and  very  naturally,  too,  to  appease 
the  one  and  please  the  other,  and  this  desire,  as  a  natural 
consequence,  influenced  them  to  the  worship  of  both  the  god 
of  evil  and  the  god  of  good;  yet  those  holy  men  of  God  also 
found,  that  the  Indians'  thoughts  (the  wild  ivy  of  the  human 
mind)  could  be  trained  upward  until  they  too  were  hung 


around  by  the  tenderest  associations  and  the  recollections  of 
all  that  is"  sweet  and  solemn  in  man's  nature,  as  it  points  up 
wards  to  a  blissful  immortality  in  the  skies;  and  that  their 
spirits  and  hopes  at  once  began  to  mount  up  from  earth  in 
ihe  pathway  thus  indicated  by  the  light  of  truth;  to  reach 
the  blissful  home  so  timely  suggested  by  those  men  and 
women  of  God. 

But,  alas,  for  the  Choctaws ! 

The  white  man  soon  disturbed  the  long  and  deep  rest  of 
their  happy  lives,  not  for  their  moral  and  intellectual  im 
provement  and  advancement  in  Christian  civilization,  but 
.alone  for  their  banishment  from  their  ancient  domains  of  con 
tentment  and  bliss  to  impoverishment  and  humiliation  in  a 
•distant  wilderness  in  the  west,  with  the  injunction  "Root 
pig  or  die,"  where  there  was  actually  nothing  for  which  to 

There  were  many  things  which  served  to  awaken  in  the 
minds  of  the  early  missionaries  to  the  present  five  civilized 
tribes,  when  living  in  their  ancient  domains  east  of  the  Missis 
sippi  river,  sad  and  melancholy  reflections.  They  beheld  all 
around  them  indubitable  evidence  of  the  former  existence  of 
a  large  population  who  lived  long  prior  to  the  people  among 
whom  they  labored,  and  had  in  the  years  of  the  long  ago  per 
formed  their  part  upon  the  stage  of  life,  and  unremembered, 
passed  into  the  secret  chambers  of  oblivion.  They  felt 
that  they  walked  over  the  graves  of  a  long  succession  of  gen 
erations  ages  before  mouldered  into  dust;  the  surrounding 
forests  were  once  animated  by  their  labors,  (as  their  rude 
and  mouldering  fortifications  testified),  their  huntings  and 
wars,  their  songs  and  their  dances;  but  silence  had  drawn 
its  impentrable  vail  over  their  entire  history;  no  lettered  page, 
no  sculptured  monument  told  who  they  were,  whence  they 
came,  or  the  period  of  their  existence. 

But  how  strange  the  scene  presented  to  the  Cherokees  at 
Brainard,  to  the  Choctaws  at  Elliot,  and  the  Qhickasaws  at 
Monroe,  (the  names  given  to  the  missionary  stations,  the  first 
established  among  the  peculiar  but  appreciative  people  I)  How 
incomprehensible  to  them  was  the  conduct  of  the  pale  faces 
then  and  there.  How  different  from  all  others  they  had  ever 
seen  or  heard,  the  white  traders,  whiskey  peddlers,  strag 
glers  and  refugees  from  justice!  In  all  their  previous  know 
ledge  of  whose  race,  they  had  seen  the  same  motto  inscribed 
upon  all  their  flags— "Traffic  and  trade,  War  and  strife;" 
but  now  they  came  disrobed  of  every  appearance1  of  greedy 
gain  and  all  implements  of  war  and  strife,  and  teaching  the 
strange  tidings  of  peace  on  earth  and  good  will  to  man.  Nor 
were  the  missionaries  scarcely  less  astonished  to  find  the 


people  who  had  been  represented  to  them  by  the  tongue  of 
calumny  as  a  set  of  savages,  to  be  quite  the  reverse — even  a 
remarkable  people  in  many  respects;  first,  for  their  native 
moral  principle,  their  innocence  of  all  hypocrisy,  lying-  and 
all  forms  of  deceit,  in  all  their  social  relations  with  each  other; 
secondly,  for  their  virtue,  their  fair-mindedness,-  their 
great  and  abiding  paternal  and  parental  aff ectioii;  thirdly, 
their  respect  for  the  right  of  property  and  the  sacredness  of 
human  character  from  slander  and  vituperation. 

This  is  not  an  over-drawn  picture.  Nowhere  among 
any  people  was  property,  life,  and  human  character  more 
sacred,  and  hypocrisy  and  lying  less  known,  than  among  the 
ancient  Choctaw  and  Chickasaw,  Cherokee  and  Muskogee 
people.  I  speak  from  personal  knowledge.  And  the  mis 
sionaries  found  them,  to  their  agreeable  surprise,  as  little 
meriting  the  title,  savag'es,  which  ignorance,  prejudice  and 
imbecile  egotism  had  applied  to  them,  as  any  race  of  unlet 
tered  people  that  were  ever  known  to  exist;  and,  in  viewing" 
them  in  the  light  of  a  true  catholic  spirit,  saw  much  that  was 
touching  and  beautiful  in  their  manners  and  customs.  They 
also  found  them  to  be  a  people  with  immovable  faith  in  a 
Supreme  Being,  and  possessing  a  great  reverence  for  powers 
and  abilities. superior  to  those  of  earth;  though,  to  some  ex 
tent,  materialistic  in  their  conception,  but  totally  ignorant  of 
the  white  man's  ideas  and  views  of  Christ  and  the  Father. 
They  regarded  the  Great  Spirit  as  the  source  of  general 
good,  and  of  whom  they  asked  guidance  in  all  undertakings, 
and  implored  aid  against  their  enemies,  and  to  whose  power 
they  ascribed  favors  and  frowns,  blessings,  successes  and 
disappointments,  joys  and  sorrows;  and  though  their  faith 
may  have  seemed  cold  to  us,  and  their  ceremonies,  frivolous, 
ridiculous,  and  even  blasphemous  in  our  eyes;  but  in  such 
lightas  they  had  truly  walked,  with  ready  and  sincere  acknowl 
edgement  of  human  dependence  on  super-human  aid  and 
mercy.  Can  we  say  as  much  for  ourselves?  Do  we  walk 
according  to  the  light  we  have  as  truly  and  faithfully  as  the 
unlettered  Indians  did? 

But  among  the  many  things  that  are  associated  with  the 
North  American  Indians  as  topics  of  conversation  and  sub 
jects  of  the  printer's  ink-more  talked  about  and  less  under 
stood-is  the  "Medicine  Man."  On  Nov.  14,  1605,  the  -first 
French  settlement  was  made  in  America,  on  the  north-east 
coast  of  Nova  Scotia,  and  they  gave  the  name  A'cadia  to  the 
country;  and  on  July  3,  1808,  Samuel  Champlain  laid  the 
foundation  of  Quebec.  The  character  "Medicine-Man"  had 
its  origin,  according  to  tradition,  among  those  early  French 
colonists  who  corrupted  the  word  "Meda" — a  word  in  the 


language  of  one  of  the  Indian  tribes  of  that  day  signifying 
chief,  into  "Medicine-Man,"  and  also  called  the  religious 
ceremonies  of  the  Indian  "making  medicine,"  which  was 
afterwards  called,  as  the  result,  "medicine,"  and  which  final 
ly  became  in  use  among  the  Indians  themselves,  and  has  so 
continued  to  the  present  day. 

It  was  a  religious  ceremony  for  the  propitiation  of  invisi 
ble  spirits  and  practised  by  all  of  the  North  American 
Indians,  with  scarcely  an  exception.  The  ancient  Choctaws 
and  Chickasaws  had  their  Medicine  Men,  with  many  of  whom 
I  was  personally  acquainted  in  the  years  of  the  long  ago. 

There  were  two  kinds  of  Medicine  (religious  ceremon 
ies)  among  the  Choctaws  and  Chickasaws,  the  same  as 
among  all  other  tribes  of  their  race,  the  tribal  medicine  and 
the  individual,  each  peculiar  to  the  individual  tribe  and  in 
dividual  person  of  that  tribe.  What  the  different  ingredients 
were,  which  composed  the  tribal  medicine,  no  one  knew,  or 
ever  tried  to  know,  except  he  who  secretly  collected  and 
stored  them  away  in  the  carefully  dressed,  highly  orna 
mented  and  sacred  deer-skin  sack;  yet  it  was  held  as  sacred 
in  the  hearts  of  the  entire  tribe  of  all  ages  and  sexes,  as  was 
the  ark  of  the  convenant  among  the  ancient  Jews.  And 
equally  so  was  that  of  the  individual,  whose  ingredients  were 
known  only  to  its  maker  and  possessor.  More  than  once  did 
my  boyish  curiosity  induce  me  to  ask  a  Choctaw  warrior 
what  was  in  his  medicine  sack,  but  only  to  get  the  repulsive 
reply:  None  of  your  business. 

Indeed,  the  mission  of  the  tribal  medicine  was  to  the  In 
dians  the  same,  to  all  intents  and  purposes,  as  that  of  the  sa 
cred  ark  to  the  ancient  Jews  when  borne  through  the  wilder 
ness  in  those  days  of  their  historical  pilgrimage^  It  was  re 
garded  as  the  protector  of  the  tribe,  in  fact,  tfife  visible  em 
bodiment  of  the  promise  of  the  good  Great  Spirit  to  provide 
for  the  tribe  all  the  necessaries  of  life,  and  protect  them 
from  all  enemies.  So  too  was  that  of  the  individual  medicine 
which  he  had  made  fqr  himself  alone,  and  which  was  indeed 
a  part  of  his  life, — his  assurance  in  danger,  his  safety  in  bat 
tle,  and  his  success  amid  all  the  vicissitudes  of  his  earthly 
career.  If  the  sacred  and  secret  articles  that  composed  the 
contents  of  the  tribal  medicine  bag,  or  those  of  the  individual 
medicine  bag,  should  become  known  to  others,  than  the  one 
who  collected  and  placed  them  therein,  the  mystic  bag  at 
once  became  powerless— even  as  Sampson,  when  shorn  of 
his  hair  by  the  treacherous  hands  of  Delilah.  And  was  it 
captured  in  war  or  otherwise  fell  into  the  hands  of  an  enemy 
the  greatest  consternation  fell  upon  the  entire  tribe,  and  su 
per-human  efforts  were  made  to  recover  it.  If  they  failed  in 


this,  overtures   soliciting-  pearce,    even   to   humiliation,    were 
made  at  once  to  the  ememy. 

But,  if  an  individual  was  in  any  way  deprived  of  his, 
which  he  always  kept 'about  his  person,  he  -made  another. 
The  making  of  another  may  seem  an  easy  matter  to  the  un 
informed.  But  not  so.  It  entailed  upon  the  maker  a  long 
period  of  utter  seclusion  in  the  solitude  and  silence  of  the 
forest  far  away  from  the  abodes  of  man-kind,  with  long-  con 
tinued  fasting,  meditation  and  prayer,  followed  by  long-  pro 
tracted  labor  in  finding  and  securing  the  necessary  articles, 
such  as  earths  *of  different  colors,  the  ashes  of  various 
weeds,  bones  of  certain  birds  and  snakes,  and  various  other 
things  which  his  fancy  may  suggest.  These  were  placed 
in  a  vessel  of  water  prepared  for  the.  purpose,  and  the  vessel 
is  then  placed  upon  a  lire  and  the  contents  continually  stirred 
with  a  st^ck  as  it  became  more  and  more  heated.  During 
this  process  he  obtains  a  sign  from  some  developed  peculiarity 
which  he  regards  as  infallible,  and  which  enables  him  to  in 
terpret  signs  and  omens,  both  of  good  and  evil.  A  small 
portion  of  the  contents  of  the  vessel  was  placed  in  his  mystic 
sack  and  accompanied  him  every  where.  In  time  of  peace, 
the  tribal  medicine  was  placed  in  the  care  of  a  chief  noted 
for  his  bravery,  who  carefully  guarded  it  from  all  profana 
tion;  but  in  the  time  of  war,  the  war-chief  carried  it  in  front 
of  his  warrior  as  they  marched  upon  the  war-path.  The 
youthful  warriors  was  always  instructed  in  the  art  of  mak 
ing  medicine  by  the  aged  men  of  the  tribe,  of  which  he  made 
good  use  antl  never  forgot. 

The  philosophy  of  the  ancient  Indian  ever  taught  him 
to  concentrate  his  mind  upon  the  spirit  land;  and  that  the 
influences  which  surrounded  him  in  Nature,  above,  beneath, 
around,  are  sent  direct  by  the  spirits  that  dwell  in  an  invisi 
ble  world  above;  that  there  are  two  kinds  of  spirits — the 
crood  and  the  bad,  who  are  continually  at  war  with  each  other 
wer  him,  the  good  directing  all  things  for  his  prosperity 
and  happiness,  the  bad  directing  all  things  agaiiist  his  pros 
perity  and  happiness;  that  within  himself  he  can  do  nothing, 
as  he  is  utterly  helpless  in  the  mighty  contest  that  is  waged 
over  him  by  theigood  and  bad  spirits.  Therefore,  he  exerts 
his  greatest  energies  of  mind  and  body  to  the  propitiation  of 
of  the  bad  spirits  rather  than  the  good,  since  the  former  may 
be  induced  to  extend  the  sceptre  of  mercy  to  him,  while  the 
latter  will  ever  strive  for  his  good,  and  his  good  alone. 
Therefore,  when  he  is  fortunate  he  attributes  it  to  some  good 
spirit;  when  unfortunate,  to  some  bad  spirit.  So,  when  he 
-said  it  is  "good  medicine,"  he  meant  that  the  good  spirit  had 

160  HIST  OR  Y  O  F  THE  INDIANS. 

the  ascendency;  and  when  he  said  it   is   "bad    medicine"  he- 
meant  that  the  bad  spirit  had  the  ascendency. 

Therefore,  all  thing's  in  nature,  as  a  natual  consequence,, 
indicated  to  him  the  presence  of  the  spirits,  both  good  and 
bad, — as  each  made,  known  their  immediate  nearness 
through  both  animate  and  inanimate  nature.  The  sighing- 
of  the  winds;  the  flight  of  the  birds;  the  howl  of  the  lone  wolf; 
the  midnight  hoot  of  the  owl,  and  all  other  sounds  heard 
throughout  his  illimitable  forests  both  by  day  and  by  nip-ht, 
had  to  him  most  potent  significations;  and,  by  which,  he  so 
governed  all  his  actions,  that  he  never  went  upon  any  enter 
prise,  before  consulting  the  signs  and  omens;  then  acted  in 
conformity  thereto.  If  the  medicine  is  g'ood,  he  undertakes 
his  journey;  if  bad,  he  remains  at  home,  and  no  argument 
can  induce  him  to  change  his  opinion,  which  I  learned  from 
personal  experience. 

The  missionaries  found  the  precepts  of  the  Choctaw's 
to  be  moral;  and  also  that  they  respected  old  ag^e,  and  kept 
fresh  in  memory  the  wise  councils  of  theii;  fathers,  whose  les 
sons  of  wisdom  the  experience  of  the  past,  taught  their 
youthful  minds  to  look  upward,  and  whose  teachings  they 
did  not  forget  in  their  mature  years. 

Their  tenderness  to  and  watchful  care  of  the  aged  and 
infirm  was  truly  remarkable;  they  looked  upon  home  and 
regarded  their  country  as  sacred  institutions,  and  in  the 
defense  of  which  they  freely  staked  their  lives;  they  also  in 
culcated  a  hig-h  regard  for  parents,  and  were  always  cour 
teous  by  instinct  as  well  as  by  teaching;  they  held  in  high 
veneration  the  names  of  the  wise,  the  good,  and  the  brave  of 
their  ancestors,  and  from  their  sentiment  toward  the  dead 
grew  sweet  flowers  in  the  heart.  They  believed  that  interity 
alone  was  worthy  of  station,  and  that  promotion  should  rest 
on  capacity  and  faithfulness;  they  also  had  swift  and  sure 
methods  of  dealing  with  the  incorrigible,  official  or  private; 
nor  were  they  impatient  of  the  slow  processes 'of  the  years 
but  knew  how  to  wait  in  faith  and  contentment;  and  if  they 
were  not  as  progressive,  as  our  opinion  demands  in  its  rush 
for  gain  and  pompous  show,  they  had  at  least  conquered  the 
secret  oi  National  and  individual  steadfastness.  To-day  we 
are  a  prodigal  and  wasteful  people,  the  .Indians  are  frugal 
and  economical. 

In  14  months  after  the  location  of  the  mission  at  Elliot 
by  the  indefatigable  perseverance  of  Mr.  Kingsbury,  a 
sufficiency  of  houses  were  erected,  a  school  was  opened, 
and  that  then  young  pioneer  of  the  Cross  proclaimed  the 
Gospel  of  the'Son  of  God,  where  it  never  before  had  been 
proclaimed;  and  at  the  time  the  Chactaws  were  so  cruelly 

HISTORY    OF    THE    INDIANS.  161 

driven  from  their  ancient  domains  to  make  room  for  our  cruel 
and  unchristian  venality  called  "Progress,"  the  Ellliot  and 
May  hew  missions  together  with  the  eleven  other  established 
in  various  parts  of  the  Choctaw  Nation,  were  in  a  flourishing 
condition;  and  this  earliest  effort  to  evangelize  this  worthy 
people,  was  highly  encouraging  from  the  readiness,  yea, 
absolute  eagerness,  on  their  part  to  receive  instruction. 
A  considerable  and  suitable  literature  both  educational  and 
religious  was  soon  prepared;  a  school  system  was  also  founded 
>  through  which  many  young  Choctaws,  both  male  and  female, 
received  the  elements  of  a  good  education.  Many  of  the 
useful  arts  of  civilized  life  were  introduced;  and  the  mission 
aries  had  gathered  many  Christian  congregations  of  whom 
not  a  few  had  received  the  good  seed  in  an  honest  heart. 
And  of  those  noble,  self-sacrificing  missionaries,  it  may  truly 
be  said,  "Their  works  do  follow  them;"  and  to-day  the  names 
Kinp"sburv,  Byington,  Williams,  Cushman,  Polly,  Hotchkins, 
Hawes,  Bardwell  and  Smith,  are  still  held  in  grateful  re 
membrance  by  the  Choctaws,  as  the  names  of  some  "of  those 
who  were  their  true,  their  noblest  and  best  earthly  friends, 
to  which  the  following  will  truthfully  attest. 

In  his  first  annual  report  of  the  Elliot  Mission,  bearing 
date  October  28th,  1819,  Mr.  Kingsbury  says:  (I  copy  from 
the  original  MS.)  "The  first  tree  was^  felled  on  the  13th  of 
August,  1818.  Since  we  arrived,  (himself  and  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Williams)  we  have  been  joined  by  the  following  persons; 

Mr.  Peter  Kanaise,     Mr.  John   Kanaise   and   wife,    car 
penter,     Mr.  Moses  Jewell  and  wife,     Mr.  N.Jersey,     Mr. 
N.   York,  'carpenter  and   millwright,     Mr.   A.  V.  Williams, 
laborer,     Mrs.  Kingsbury,     Miss   Chase,     Mr.    Isaac   Fisk,' 
blacksmith,     Mr.  W.  W.  Pride,  physician. 

"All  these  came  out  to  labor  gratuitously  for  the  benefit 
of  the  Choctaws. 

It  would  be  trespassing  unnecessarily  on  the  time  of 
the  secretary  to  detail  the  principal  circumstances  and  diffi 
culties  which  have  attended  the  progress  of  our  labors. 
They  have  been  similar  to  what  must  always  attend  sucji 
enterprises  in  an  uncivilized  country  far  removed  from  those 
places  where  the  necessaries,  comforts,  and  conveniences  of 
life  can  be  obtained. 

Since  our  arrival,  we  have  been  principally  occupied  in 
erecting  buildings.  This  devolved  upon  us  much  labor  and 
greatly  retareted  our  other  business,  but  by  the  blessing  of  a 
kind  Providence,  we  have  been  prospered  in  our  work,  much 
beyond  our  expectations. 

Within  about  fourteen  months  there  have  been  erected  at 


Elliott   seven     commodious   cabins   which    are   occupied   as 
dwelling-  houses.  / 

A  dining-  room  and  kitchen  contiguous,  (54  x  20)  with 
hewed  logs  and  a  piazza  on  each  side. 

-  A  school  house  36ft  x  34  hewed  logs;   and  finished  on  the 
Lancastrian  plan. 

A  millhouse  34  x  30ft,  and  also  a  lumberhouse  and 
granary,  each  18  x  20ft. 

A  blacksmith  shop,  stable,  and  three  outhouses,  all  of 
which  are  nearly  completed. 

On  the  plantation  between  30  and  40  acres  haAre  been 
cleared  and  fenced;  and  between  20  and  30  acres  have  been 
cultivated,  which  have  produced  a  considerable  quantity  of 
corn,  potatoes,  beans,  peas,  etc. 

Besides  the  above,  considerable  time  has  been  spent  in 
cutting-  roads  in  different  directions,  and  constructing  several 
small  bridges,  which  were  necessary  for  transporting-  with  a 

The  stock  at  present  belonging-  to  the  mission,  consists 
of  7  horses,  10  steers,  75  ccws,  75  calves  and  young  cattle, 
and  about  30  swine.  Of  the  above,  54  cows  and  calves,  and 
6  steers  and  young  cattle  have  been  presented  by  the  Choc- 
taws  for  the  benefit  of  the  school. 

"There  is  no  private  property  attached  to  the  mission. 
All  is  sacredly  devoted  to  the  various  purposes  of  instructing- 
the  Choctaws.  t 

"Urged  by  the  importunity  of  the  natives,  the  school  was 
commenced  under  many  disadvantages  in  April  last,  with 
ten  pupils.  As  accommodations  and  means  of  support  have 
increased  the  school  has  been  enlarged,  and  there  are  fifty- 
four  students  who  attend  regularly— males  and  females. 
All  these  board  in  our  family.  They  are  of  different  ages— 
from  6  to  20,  and  could  not  speak  our  language  when  they 
came.  More  pupils'are  expected  to  join  the  school  shortly. 
In  addition  to  the  common  rudiments  of  education,  the  boys 
are  acquiring  a  practical  knowledge  of  agriculture  in  its 
various  branches,  and  the  girls,  while  out  of  school,  are  em 
ployed  under  the  direction  of  the  female  missionaries  in\dif- 
ferent  departments  of  domestic  labor.  We  have  also  a  full- 
blooded  Choctaw  lad  learning-  the  blacksmith  trade;  and 
another,  now  in  school,  wishes  to  engage  in  the  same  em 
ployment,  so  soon  as  there  is  opportunity.  All  the  children 
are  placed  entirely  under  our  control,  and  the  most  entire 
satisfaction  is  expressed  as  to  the  manner  they  are  treated. 

"The  school  is  taught  on  the  Lancastrian  plan,  and  the 
progress  of  the  children  has  exceeded  our  most  sanguine  ex 
pectations.  Thirty-one  began  the  A.  B.  C's.  Several  of  these 


can  now  read  the  Testament,  and  others  in  easy  reading-  les 
sons.  Most  of  them  have  also  made  considerable  prog-ress 
in  writing. 

"There  have  been  instances  of  lads  14  to  16  years  old,  en 
tirely  ignorant  of  our  language,  who  have  perfectly  learned 
the  alphabet  in  three  days,  and  on  the  fourth  day  could  read 
and  pronounce  the  abs.  We  have  never  seen  the  same  num 
ber  of  children  in  any  school,  who  appeared  more  promising-. 
Since  they  commenced,  their  attention  has  been  constant. 
No  one  has  left  the  school,  or  manifested  a  wish  to  leave  it. 

"Want  of  accommodations,  but  more  particularly  want  of 
funds,  has  obliged  us  to  refuse  many  children  who  wish  to 
enter  the  school.  If  adequate  means  can  be  obtained,  we 
design  to  increase  the  number  to  80  or  100.  It  is  our  inten 
tion  to  embrace  in  their  education,  that  practical  industry, 
and  that  literary,  moral  and  religious  instruction,  which  may 
qualify  them  for  useful  members  of  society;  and  for  the  ex 
ercise  of  those  moral  principles,  and  that  genuine  piety, 
which  form  the  basis  of  true  happiness. 

"The  expenditures  of  the  mission,  including  the  outfit 
and  traveling  expenses  of  the  missionaries,  and  exclusive  of 
their  services  (which  have  all  been  gratuitous)  have  been  more 
than  $9000:  About  $2000,  of  this  has  been  on  account  of 
buildings.  It  has  been  our  constant  endeavor  to  impress  on 
the  people  of  this  nation  the  advantages  of  instruction,  and 
the  propriety  of  their  contributing  towards  the  education 
of  .their  own  children;  and  by  commencing  on  a  labored  and 
extensive  scale  for  their  improvement  we  have  drawn  forth  a 
spirit  of  liberality  as  unexpected  as  it  is  encouraging. 

"At  a  council  in  August,  which  by  invitation  I  attended, 
the  natives  subscribed  ninety-five  cows  and  calves,'  and  more 
than  $1300  in  cash  kfor  the,  benefit  of  the  school.  At  a  lower 
town  district,  in  September,  they  unanimously  voted  to 
appropriate  $2,000  (their  proportion  of  the  money  due  from 
the  United  States  for  the  last  purchase  of  land)  to  the  sup 
port  of  a  school  in  that  district.  It  has  been  proposed  in  this 
district  to  make  a  similar  appropriation  for  the  benefit  of 
this  school. 

"These  measures  disclose  the  disposition  of  the  Nation 
and  evince  that  under  the  influence  and  direction  of 
the  Executive  a  fund  might  be  established,  which  eventu 
ally  would  be  adequate  to  the  instruction  of  the  Nation, 
We  feel  a  confidence  that  in  future  treaties  with  the  Nation, 
this  subject  will,  without  any  suggestion  of  ours,  receive 
that  attention  which  its  consideration  demands." 

"To  bring  this  people,"  continues  that  true  Christian, 
"within  the  pale  of  civilization  and  Christianity  is  a  great 

164  HISTORY    OF    THE   INDIANS.  s 

work.  The  instruction  of  the  rising-  generation^  is  unques 
tionably  the  most  direct  way  to  advance.  Nothing1  is  now 
wanting-  to  put  the  great  mass  of  children  in  this  Nation,  in 
a  course  of  instruction  but  efficient  means. 

It  may  be  puoper  to  observe  that  the  Chickasaws  are 
anxious  to  have  similar  institutions  in  their  Nation;  and 
two  more  are  earnestly  desired  and  much  needed  by  the 
Choctaws.  For  the  support  of  one  of  them,  two  thousand 
dollars  for  17  years  annually  ($34,000)  have  already  been  ap 
propriated  by  the  Choctaws.  It  is  the  intention  of  the  Amer 
ican  Board  to  commence  one  or  more  of  the  establishments  as 
soon  as  they  can  command  the  means.  It  is  therefore  desir 
able  that  the  one  already  commenced  here  should  be  comple 
ted  without  delay  and  placed  on  a  permanent  foundation. 

Before  closing-  this  report,  I  beg"  leave  to  remark  on  two 
points  relative  to  the  improvement  of  the  Choctaws. 

First:  We  think  the  introduction  of  a  few  respectable 
mechanics  of  good  moral  character,  would  be  of  great  ad 
vantage  in  civilizing  and  introducing  industry  among  them. 
We  have  a  blacksmith  of  this  description,  who  came  out  at 
the  expense  of  the  American  Board,  and  the  profits  of  his- 
work  are  devoted  to  the  support  of  this  establishment.  Many 
of  the  mechanics  found  in  the  Indian  countries  are  of  little 
advantage  in  any  respect;  and  the  conduct  of  some  is  an  out 
rage  on  barbarism  itself. 

Second. — "Could  the  missionaries  be  relieved  from  the 
labor  of  erecting  the  buildings,  it  would  enable  them  much 
sooner  to  direct  their  attention  to  the  improvement  of  a 
plantation  and  other  necessary  preparations  for  commencing 
the  school. 

"With  sentiments  of  sincere  respect,  I  am,  dear  sir,, 
your  obedient  and  very  humble  servant, 


From  a  letter  (now  before  me)  written  to  the  then  young 
missionary,  Rev.  Cyrus  Kingsbury,  bearing  date,  October, 
2nd,  1819,  I  take  the  following  extract:  "In  a  situation  like 
yours,  it  must  be  an  unspeakable  comfort  to  know  that  you 
have  the  prayers  of  God's  people.  Many  are  daily  supplicat 
ing  the  Throne  of  Grace  for  you,  and  the  object  in  which  you 
are  engaged;  but  I  presume  you  can  hardly  realize  the  extent 
of  the  interest  which  is  awakened  for  our  missions  among 
the  Southern  Indians.  The  eyes  of  all  our  churches  are 
turned  toward  them  with  the  earnest  expectation,  which  is 
the  offspring  of  faith  and  prayer.  The  Indian  character  in 
the  estimation  of  even  those  who  have  hitherto  deemed 
them  too  savage  to  be  civilized;  and  those  who  acknowledged 
the  excellency  of  many  of  the  native  traits  of  their  character, 


were  faithless  as  to  the  practicability  of  making-  them 
good  citizens,  are  now  convinced  by  the  experiments  made  at 
Brainard,  (among-  the  Cherokees)  that  the  Indians  can  be 
educated,  become  good  citizens  and  devout  Christians. 
Another  evidence  that  had  the  whites  exercised  the  same 
credulity  in  giving1  heed  to  the  voice  of  truth  that  so  long-  and 
loudly  appealed  to  them  in  behalf  of  the  Indian  race,  as  they 
were  credulous  to  the  voice  of  falsehood,  the  unfortunate 
Indians  would  not  have  so  suffered  at  the  hands  of  ignorance. 
But  continues  the  writer: 

"Truly,  you  have  seen  more  to  rejoice  your  heart  than  is 
witnessed  by  one  in  ten  of  our  New  England  ministers.  You 
have  witnessed  the  Christian  devotion  of  characters  once  de 
graded.  You  have  witnessed  the  wilderness  and  the  solitary, 
place,  in  one  yeai'j  became  glad  'before  you,  and  the  desert 
blossom  as  the  rose.  After  such  experience  of  the  smiles  of 
lieaven  do  not  faint  or  become  discouraged.  God's  promises 
are  established  in  truth,  and  they  are  all  yours.  Blessed 
promises!  Thus  far  the  Lord  has  favored  you  more  than 
any  Indian  missionary  for  sixty  or  seventy  years  past.  The 
public  are  waking-  up  with  wonderful  rapidity  to  the 
wants  of  the  Indians.  You  may  be  distressed  and  perplexed 
for  a  season,  but  it  will  not  last  always.  The  Lord  will  come 
and  will  not  tarry." 

But  it  does  not  fall  within  the  present  plan  of  this  work 
to  enter  fully  into  the  history,  in  all  its  particulars,  of  those 
worthy  and  interesting-  missions  of  seventy  years  ago  among 
the  Choctaws,  to  them  the  dawn  of  hope;  the  return  of  spring 
after  a  long-  and  dreary  winter, — but  only  to  present  certain 
aspects  and  features  of  them,  which  shall  exhibit  the  hand 
of  God  as  eng-ag-ed  to  renovate  and  bless  a  long-  oppressed 
Nation,  and  preparing-  for  it  a  gracious  visitation.  Shortly 
after  the  necessary  houses  for  dwellings,  school  and  church 
purposes,  had  been  erected  and  all  things  had  settled  down 
to  systematic  business,  and  the  missionaries  to  give  their 
whole  attention  to  their  ministerial  labors,  there  was  a  mov 
ing  of  the  Jong  stagnant  waters, — a  presentment  of  coming: 
chang-e;  and  soon  a  mental  activity  that  presaged  emancipa 
tion  of  the  Choctaws  from  the  long-,  dark  night  of  spiritual 
gloom  that  had  brooded  over  their  minds  during  ages  un 

For  the  first  few  years  the  good  and  glorious  work  of 
reform  went  on  for  the  most  part  quietly  though  steadily. 
Then  there  was  manifested  a  greater  spirit  of  inquiry,  not 
only  about  the  truth  as  a  matter  of  speculation,  but  after 
salvation  through  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ.  It  was  truly 
affecting  to  see  the  deep  and  unaffected  interest  manifested 


by  those  unlettered  warriors,  as  they  listened  for  the  first 
time  to  the  wonderful  story  of  the  Cross — a  theme  to  them 
incomprehensible  and  almost  beyond  human  belief.  That  a 
friend  might  peradventure  die  for  a  friend  was  to  them  a 
possible  thing-;  but  for  a  father  to  give  his  only  son  to  die  for 
the  benefit  of  his  enemies,  and  that  son  also  be' willing  to 
accept  the  ordeal  of  dying  the  most  excruciating  death  that 
their  mutual  enemies  might  be  benefitted  thereby,  seemed 
too  incredible  for  belief,  and  filled  them  with  wondering  as 
tonishment.  Yet  hundreds  of  them  yielded  to  the  regener 
ating  influences  and  power  of  the  Divine  Spirit  years  before 
they  were  driven  from  their  ancient  homes  to  seek  others  in 
a  distant  wilderness  that  the  progress  of  the  white  man  in 
his  strife  for  gain  might  not  be  impeded  by  their  presence, 
and  lived  the  exemplary  lives  of  the  true  Christian,  and 
died  the  death  of  the  righteous  in  bright  hopes  of  a  blissful 

The  first  conversion  among*  the  full-blooded  Choctaws 
was  that  of  an  aged  man,  who  lived  near  Col.  David  Folsom, 
chief  of  the  Ch'octaws,  named  Tun-a  pin  a-chuf-fa,  (Our  one 
weaver)  h'therto  as  ignorant  of  the  principles  of  the  religion 
of  Jesus  Christ  as  it  is  possible  to  conceive.  He  manifested 
an  interest  in  the  subject  of  religion  about  six  months  before 
any  other  of  his  people  in' the  neighborhood,  and  soon  began 
to  speak  publicly  in  religious  meetings,  and  gave  evidence, 
by  his.  daily  walk  and  conversation,  of  a  happy  and  glorious 
change,  to  the  astonishment  of  his  people,  who  could  not 
comprehend  the  mystery.  The  old  man,  but  now  a  new 
one,  lived  the  life  of  a  true  and  devoted  Christian  the  few 
remaining  years  of,  his  life,  and  then  died  leaving  bright 
evidence  of  having  died  the  death  of  the  righteous.  When 
he  was  received  into  the  church,  he  was  baptised  and  given 
the  name  of  one  of  the  missionaries,  viz.:  William  Hooper, 
by  his  own  request,  to  whom  Mr.  Hooper  had  endeared  himself 
by  many  acts  of  kindess  conferred  upon  the  aged  and  appr£- 
ciative  Chocta\v. 

Shortly  after  he  professed  religion,  he  dictated  a  letter 
to  Col.  David  Folsom,  his  nephew,  which  was  written  and 
translated  into  English  byMr.  Loring  Williams,  of  which  the 
following  is  a  copy: 

"AI-IK-HUM-A;  Jan.  30,  1828,"  (A  place  of  learning.) 

"BROTHKK: — Long  time  had  we  been  as  people  in  a  storm 
which  threatened  destruction,  until  the  missionaries  came 
to  our  land;  but  now  we  are  permitted  to  hear  the  blessed 
Gospel  of  truth.  You,  our  brother  and  chief,  found  for  us  a 
good  and  bright  path,  and  we  would  follow  you  in  it.  You 
are  as  our  good  father,  and  vour  words  are  good.  Your 


messengers  (the  missionaries),  that  you  sent  to  us,  we  hear. 
When  we'  think  of  our  old  ways,  we  feel  ashamed.  This 
blessed  day  I  have  given  a  true  talk.  The  black  and  dirty 
clothes  I  used  to  wear  I  have  taken  off  and  cast  away.  Clean 
and  good  clothes,  I  now  put  on.  My  heart,  I  hope,  had  been 
made  new.  My  bad  thoughts  I  throw  away.  The  words  of 
the  great  Father  above  I  am  seeking  to  have  in  my  mind. 

The  missionaries,  in  the  Choctaw  Nation,  salute.  The 
missionaries,  chiefs,  and  people,  I  salute.  O  my  chief,  I, 
your  uncle,  salute  you.  I  am  your  warrior.  You  must  re 
member  me  in  your  love.  The  letter  which  I  send  you,  you 
must  read  to  your  captains,  leaders,  and  warriors.  As  I  feel 
today,  I  wish  to  have  all  my  Choctaw  brothers  feel.  I  am 
the  first  of  the  Choctavvs  that  talk  the  good  talk.  My  chief, 
as  you  go  about  among  your  people,  you  must  tell  them  this, 
the  dark  night  to  me  has  gone,  and  the  morning  has  dawned 
upon  me.  The  missionaries  at  Mayhew,  I  salute  you.  Mr. 
Kingsbury,  when  this  letter  you  see,  you  will  forward  it  to 
Miko  (chief  )Folsom.  TUNAPINACHUFFA. 

Soon  after  the  writing  of  this  letter,  Mr  Williams  visited 
the  venerable  ex-chief  and  reil*  cd  warrior  of  the  Choctaws. 
As  he  drew  near  the  humble  log  cabin  of  the  aged  Choctaw, 
his  attention  was  attracted  by  the  voice  of  singing.  He  halt 
ed  a  moment  to  listen.  It  was  the  aged  Tunapinachuffa 
singing  a  song  of  Zion ;  and  when  Mr.  Williams  came 
up  he  found  him  sitting  at  the  opposite  side  of  his  little 
cabin,  resting  his  head  on  one  hand  and  holding  a  catachism 
in  the  other,  holding  holy  and  sweet  communion  with  his 
newly  found  Savior;  and  so  absorbed  was  he  in  his  medita 
tions,  that  the  presence  of  Mr.  Williams  was  not  known,  un 
til  announced  by  the  barking  of  the  dogs;  and  yet,  so  deep 
and  pleasant  was  his  reverie,  that  he  remained  seemingly 
unconscious  of  everything  around  him  until  Mr>  Williams 
came  to  his  side  and  spoke  to  him.  He  then  looked  up, 
sprrng  to  his  feet  and  greeted  Mr.  Williams  with  unfeigned 
manifestations  of  the  greatest  joy;  and,  at  once,  inquired 
after  Mr.  Kingsbury  with  expressions  of  the  greatest  affec 
tion  ;  then  requested  Mr.  Williams  to  tell  Mr.  Kingsbury, 
that  "he  did  love  the  Savior  with  all  his  heart  and  soul;"  that 
''he  took^reat  delight  in  the  Sabbath,  and  loved  to  pray." 
that,  "to-day  heaven  is  near;  it  is  not  for  away — I  know  it  is 
near — I  feel  it."  Mr. ,  Williams  and  the  new  born  babe  in 
Christ,  though  feeble  alone  with  the  weight  of  nearly  three 
score  years  and  ten — the  Psalmist's  allotted  period  of  man's 
earthly  sojourn — joined  in  a  song'  together,  in  praise  to  Him 
who  has  said:  "Come  unto  me,  ye  that  are  heavy  laden,  and 
I  will  give  you  rest;  and  then  Tunapinachuffa  offered  up  a 

168  HISTORY    OF    THE    INDIANS. 


prayer  to  Him  who  is  the  Indian's  God  as  well  as  the  white 

Mr.  Williams  stated,  in  speaking-  of  the  interview  with 
the  venerable  Choctaw,  that,  he  prayed  with  the  deepest 
sincerity  for  his  family;  then,  that  all  his  people  "mig-ht  be 
united  to  Christ  in  peace  and  love  as  with  an  iron  chain;  and 
that  they  mig-ht  take  hold  of  the  Savior  with  their  hands." 
At  morning1  and  at  nig-ht  this  redeemed  Choctaw  child  of:  God 
called  his  household  around  the  family  altar,  nor  ever  per 
mitted  business  or  company  to  interfere  with  those  sacred 

But  Tuna  pin  a  chuffa  was  not  an  isolated  case.  Hun 
dreds  of  similar  cases  could  be  mentioned  among  the  young-, 
as  well  as  the  aged,  of  those  Choctaw  converts  under  the 
teachings  of  the  missionaries  when  living  in  their  ancient 

After  the  conversion  of  Tuna  pin  a  chuffa,  a  great  and 
wonderful  change  for  the  better  was  soon  seen  in  not  only 
Tuna  pin  a  chuffa's  district,  but  also  in  other  districts — 
both  in  outward  appearance  and  moral  condition.  The  men 
soon  began  to  acquire  habits  of  industry,  cultivating  cotton 
and  enlarging  their  corn  fields.  Temperance  rapidly 
gained  ground, all  over  the  Nation;  and  in  nearly  every  house 
throughout  the' country  soon  were  found  the  cotton  card, 
the  spinning  wheel  and  the  loom,  with  here  and  there  black 
smith  and  wood-shops. 

Soon  large  quantities  of  various  cotton  cloths  were  made 
by  the  Choctaw  mothers  and  daughters;  while  the  father  and 
son  raised  corn,  sweet  potatoes,  peas,  beans,  and  various 
kinds  of  vegetables;  and  their  willingness  to  work  ran 
parallel  with  their  progress  and  advancement  in  Christian 
knowledge.  Nor  was  there  any  difficulty  experienced  by  the 
missionaries  in  hiring\Choctaws  to  work  for  them,  both' men. 
and  women,  and  even  boys  and  girls;  many  of  the  men  with 
their  families,  went  to  the  adjoining  States  and  picked  cotton 
for  the  white  farmers,  after  they  had  gathered  their  own 
crops.  As  cotton  pickers,  both  in  quantity  and  quality,  day 
by  day,  they  had  no  superiors;  therefore,  the  white  farmers 
paid  them  one  dollar  per  hundred  pounds,  and  also  boarded 
them;  and  a  thousand  have  been  known  to  leave  their  Nation 
at  one  time  to  pick  cotton  in  the  States;  and  before  they  were 
driven  to  the  wild  wilderness  far  away  to  the  west  by  the 
inexorable  law  of  the  whites,  that  "Might  is  Right,"  when 
dealing  with  the  North  American  Indian;  fifty,  yea  a  hun 
dred  and  fifty,  drunken  white  men  could  be  found  in  the 
coritigudus  States,  to  where  one  Choctaw  would  be  found  in 
the  Nation  most  distant  from  the  neighborhood  of  the  white 


settlements.  Much  has  been  said  to 'prove  the  drunken 
Indian,  to  be  a  friend  incarnate;  and  though  I  have  seen 
drunken  Indians,  yet  my  experience  has  taught  me  that  a 
drunken  white  man  is  far  worse  than  a  drunken  Indian,  and 
more  to  be  feared  ten  to  one,  than  the  Indian. 

AfterTunapinachuffa,  followed  the  con  version  of  Col.  David 
Folsom,  and  many  other  leading-  men  of  the  Nation,  together  • 
with  the  common  warriors  and  their  wives;  and  to  that  extent 
was  the  interest  in  the  subject  of  religion  manifested  by  all 
that  a  special  meeting  was  appointed  in  the  woods  by  the 
missionaries;  and  at  which,  Col.  David  Folsom  and  others, 
together  with  the  now  zealous  and  good  old  Tunapinachuffa, 
took  an  active  part.  Though  there  were  few  Choctaws 
present,  yet  the  Spirit  of  God  was  there;  and  one  evening  an 
unusual  solemnity  seemed  to  pervade  the  entire  little  com 
pany  of  worshippers,  and  so  deeply  felt  by  old  Tunapina- 
chuifa,  that  he  was  unable  to  longer  restrain  himself.  He 
arose  and  commenced  an  exhortation  to  his  people  present, 
-and  continued  for  thirty  or  more  minutes  in  such  sublime 
Indian  eloquence  (Nature's  gift  untarnished  by  human  art) 
.such  deep  pathos",  and  such  irresistible  arguments,  as  are 
seldom  heard  anywhere. 

At  the  close  of  his  inimitable  and  indescribable  exhorta 
tion,  he,  in  a  persuasive  tone  of  voice,  said:  "All  you  who 
desire  and  are  willing  to  receive  these  Good  Tidings  from 
above  into  your  hearts  and  go  with  me  to  the  good  land 
above,  come  and  sit  on  this  log."  What  a  moment  was  that  to 
the  noble-hearted  and  pious  missionaries  who  were  so  for 
tunate  as  to  be  present  !  Who  can  justly  describe  it?  Firs1^: 
one,  and  then  another  and  another,  came  forward  and  took 
their  seats  on  that  forest  log,  until  it  was  covered,  thus  mani 
festing  and  openly  avowing  their  determination  to  serve  the 
living  God;  and  there  and  then  twelve  adults  became  living, 
active  witnesses  for  the  cause  of  the  world's  Redeemer. 
That  little  religious  meeting,  in  the  -deep  solitudes  of  a  Mis 
sissippi  forest,  closed;  but  the  tidings  of  its  strange  pro 
ceedings  and  its  more  wonderful  results  spread  far  and 
wide,  and  it  became  the  subject  of  conversation  and  inquiry 
for  miles  away;  and  soon  was  awakened  such  a  feeling  of 
curiosity  and  desire  to  learn  more  of  this,  to  them  strange 
and  incomprehensible  thing,  that  other  meetings  were  ap 
pointed,  to  which  hundreds  gathered, and  the  result  was  they 
-were  multiplied  all  over  the  land  and  scores  flocked  to  and 
around  the  standard  of  Christianity. 

But  this  interest  was  confined  for  several  months,  al 
most  exclusively,  to  the  northern  part  of  the  Nation  contigu 
ous  to  Mayhew,  whence  the  missionaries  went  out  among  the 


Choctaws  and  taught  and  preached  to  them.  The  converts, 
were  at  first  gathered  into  one  church  organization  though 
widely  separated;  hence  their  sacramental  meetings,  were 
held  in  the  woods  under  the  wide  extended  branches  of  the 
mighty  forest  oaks  of  that  day — God's  natural  temples — 
where  many  hundreds  would  congregate  and  spend  several 
days  worshipping  God;  and  a  more  humble  and  devout  as 
sembly,  of  worshippers  of  the  living  God  (without  an  indif 
ferent  or  idle  spectator)  was  never  anywhere  beheld  than 
were  those  worshipping  Choctaws.  At  "one  of  these  forest 
meetings,  where  the  wind,  (nature's  harp)  sighing  amid  the 
thick  and  wide  extended  limbsfof  the  giant  forest  trees,,  had 
for  ages  untold  received  no  response  but  that  of  the  defiant 
war-hoop,  now  was  mingled  the  praise  of  human  tongues  in 
anthems  sweet  with  nature  to  nature's  God;  ninety  Choc 
taws  both  men  and  women,  were  enrolled  in  the  army  of  the 
Cross;  and  at  another  over  a  hundred, 

Messrs.  Williams,  Smith,  Howse  and  Bardwell,  shortly 
after  the  establishment  of  the  May  hew  mission,  took  charge 
of  the  one  established  in  the  southern  part  of  the  Nation 
among  a  clan  of  Choctaws  called  Okla  Hunnali,  (people  Six), 
distant  seventy  or  more  miles  from  Mayhew,  leaving  Messrs. 
Kingsbury,  (to  whom  the  Choctaws  gave  the  name  Na-sho-ba 
No-wah  (Walking  Wolf),  Byingtoii  (whom  they  named  La- 
pish  O-la-han-chih,  Sounding  Horn),  Cushman  and  a  few 
others  at  Mayhew. 

Soon  after  the  close  of  the  revival  meetings  in  the  north 
ern  part  of  the  Nation,  several  new  converts,  in  company 
with  Col.  David  Folsom  and  a  few  missionaries  of  the  May- 
hew  mission,  made  a  journey  to  the  Okla  Hunnali  mission  to 
attend  a  religious  meeting  previously  appointed.  The  Choc 
taws  of  that  district,  expecting  them,  came  in  large  numbers 
from  the  surrounding  villages  to  the  appointed  place  to  wel 
come  them,  and  manifested  the  greatest  delight  regarding  it 
as  great  favor  conferred  upon  them  by  their  friends  who  had 
come  so  far  to  attend  their  meetings.  They  assembled 
without  ostentation,  yet  in  all  the  paraphernailia  of  Choctaw 
custom,  presenting  a  novel  appearance  to  the  eye  of  the 
novice.  But  the  "tidings  of  great  joy — peace  on  earth  and 
good  will-to  man" — to  the  red  as  well  as  the  white,  proclaimed 
and  urged  upon  them  with  such  evidence  of  truth,  sincerity 
and  deep  feeling,  was  to  them  something  new  indeed,  unseen 
and  unfelt  before. 

Calm  reflection  assumed  (as  at  the  meetings  in  the  north 
ern  section  of  the  Nation)  the  place  of  thoughtlessness  and 
indifference,  (for  an  Indian  can  and  does  reflect  as  well  as  a 
white  man),  and  soon  were  seen  on  many  a  painted  face 


trickling"  tears  (though  not  given  to  .weeping1)  forming  little 
channels  througii  the  vermilion  as  they  coursed  their  way 
down.  And  this  meeting"  was  also  blessed  with  a  gracious, 
visitation  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  and  many  precious  souls 
(though  Choctaws)  were  gathered  into  the  fold  of  the  Great 
Shepherd  as  had  been  done  in  the  northern  portion  of  their 
country.  At  once  a  mighty  change  began  all  over  their 
Nation  wherever  the  missionaries  went,  who  truly  might  be 
termed  the  Apostles  of  God  to  the  Choctaws;  and  soon,  one 
by  one  their  ancient  customs  and  habits  were  forever  laid 
aside,  culminating  in  a  general  change  of  things  well  adapt 
ed  to  their  then,  it  may  be  truthfully  stated,  progressive 
condition.  But  among  the  most  prominent  features  indicat 
ing  a  speedy  reformation  at  this  time  (1826),  was  the  enact 
ing  of  a  law  forever  banishing  that  curse  of  all  curses  O-ka 
Humma  (Red  Water)  or  properly  OkaHo-mi  (Strong  Water) 
which,  like  that  of  the  Medes  and  Persians  changeth  not, 
stands  to-day  unrepealed,  and  will  so  continue  as  long  as 
they  are  permitted  to  exist  as  a  Nation. 

Many  of  the  ancient  Choctaws  were  a  depts  in  the  art  of 
singing  their  native  airs,  of  which  they  had  many;  but  all 
effort  to  induce  one  of  them  to  sing  alone  one  of  his  favorite 
songs  was  fruitless.  They  invariably  replied  to  the  solicitation 
in  broken  English,  "Him  no  good."  Then  sing  me  a  war- 
song.  "Him  heap  no  good,"  with  an  ominous  shake  of  the 
head.  Then  sing  me  a  hunting  song.  "No  good;  he  no  fit 
for  pale  face.  "Well,  sing  me  a  love  song.  "Wah"!(anancient. 
exclamation  of  suprise — now  obsolete)  much  love  song,  him 
bad,  fio  good  for  pale  face."  Though  this  wras  somewhat 
tantalizing  yet  it  had  to  be  endured. 

Like  all  their  race,  the  Choctaws  never  forgot  an  act  of 
kindness  be  it  ever  so  trivial;  and  many  a  white  man  overtaken 
by  misfortune  when  traveling  over  their  country,  and  weak 
beneath  the  remorseless  grasp  of  hunger,  has  felt  that  the 
truth  of  the  eastern  proverb  has  been  brought  home  to  him: 
Cast  thy  bread  upon  the  waters,  and  thou  shalt  find  it  after 
many  days.  More  than  once  has  it  fallen  to  my  lot  to  con 
tribute  to  an  Indian's  immediate  necessities,  in  days  of  their 
individual  want  and  weakness;  and,  in  after  days — the  inci 
dent  by  me  long  forgotten;  they  have  returned  the  favor 
thirty  fold;  and  for  many  favors  have  I  become  indebted  to 
them,  when  I  had  nothing  to  return.  Their  great  de- 
licacv  in  conferring  a  favor  was  not  the  least  admirable 
part  of  their  conduct,  often  they  would  leave  a  large  wild 
turkey  upon  the  door-sill,  or  place  a  venison  ham  just  within 
it,  and  steal  away  without  saying  a  word,  as  if  they  feared 
you  might  suspect  them  of  trying  to  buy  your  friendship,. 


when  not  enabled  to  secure  it  alone  by  merit;  or  that,  to 
accept  a  present  from  a  poor  Indian  might  be  humiliating  to 
the  pride  of  the  receiver  a*nd  they  would  spare  him  the  mor 
tification  of  returning*  thanks .  Never  was  a  race  of  people 
more  sensitive  of  kindness,  or  more  grateful  for  any  little 
act  of  benevolence  exercised  toward  them,  or  practiced  the 
great  Christian  principle,  Charity  to  a  greater  degree  of 
perfection,  especially  in  regard  to  strangers,  than  did  the 
North  American  Indians.  The  missionaries  everywhere 
and  among  all  tribes,  met  them  with  kindness  and  confidence, 
and  conducted  themselves  by  the  rules  of  strict  integrity  in 
all  their  dealings  with  them;  and  no  instance  has  been  re 
corded,  where  their  confidence  in  the  Indians  was  betrayed, 
or  their  good  opinion  of  them  destroyed. 

The  Choctaws  were  great  imitators,  and  possessed  a 
nice  tact  in  adopting  the  manners  of  those  with  whom  they 
associated.  An  Indian,  however,  is  Nature's  gentleman — 
never  familiar,  coarse  or  vulgar.  If  he  takes  a  meal  with  you, 
he  quietly  waits  to  see  you  make  use  of  the  unaccustomed 
implements  on  the  table,  and  the  manner  in  which  you  eat, 
he  exactly  imitates  with  a  grave  decorum  and  as  much  appar 
ent  ease,  as  if  he  had  been  accustomed  to  the  same  usages 
from  childhood.  He  never  attempts  to  help  himself  or  de 
mand  more  food,  but  patiently  waits  until  you  perceive  what 
he  requires.  Thisvmnate  politeness  is  natural  to  all  Indians. 
But  the  mixture  of  white  blcod.  while  it  may  be  said  to  add  a 
little  to  the  physical  beauty  of  the  half — race,  yet  produces  a 
deplorable  falling  off  from  the  original  integrity  of  the  Indian 
character;  which,  however,  may  be  attributed  "wholly  to  the 
well  known  fact,  that  the  young  half-breeds  mingle  with  the 
whites  ninety  per  cent  more  than  the  full-bloods;  and  ever 
retain  that  peculiar  characteristic  of  the  Indian  i.  e.  confi 
dence  in  all  professions  of  friendship  until  proved  false,  then 
never  again  to  be  trusted;  thus  are  they  easily  made  the 
dupes  of  the  whites,  and  are  ignorantly,  and  therefore  un 
consciously,  led  step  by  step  down  to  a  level  with  their  de 
stroyers,  and  too  late  awake  to  the  consciousness 
that  they  are  the  victims.  Thus  is  the  professed  grandeur 
of  our  civilization  portrayed  to  the  full-blood  Indian.  No 
wonder  he  wants  none  of  it.  If  such  is  the  result  Of  that 
civilization  we  would  have  him  adopt,  no  wonder  he  shrinks 
from  it  as  he  would  from  a  fearful  contagion. 

No  Indian  was  ever  so  selfish  as  to  smoke  alone  in  the 
presence  of  others.  I  have  oft  attended  their  social  gather 
ings  where,  seated  on  the  ground  in  little  groups  forming 
little  circles,  the  personification  of  blissful  contentment,  I 
invariably  saw  the  pipe  on  its  line  of  march,  and  so  continued 


until  the  talk  was  ended.  If  but  two  were  seated  together, 
and  .one  lighted  his  pipe,  he  only  drew  a  few  whiffs  and  then 
handed  it  to  his  companion,  who  also  drew, a  whiff  or  two 
and  returned  it;  and  thus  the  symbol  of  peace,  friendship 
and  good  will  passed  back  and  forth  until  the  social  chat  was 

The  Choctaw  women  did  not  indulge  in  the  use  of  tobacco 
in  any  way  whatever  when  living  east  of  the  Mississippi,  ex 
cept  a  few  in  advanced  years;  and  it  was  regarded  as  great 
a  breach  of  female  decorum  for  a  Choctaw  women  to  use  the 
weed,  as  it  is  with  the  white  women  of  the  present  day  to 
chew  or  smoke;  and  even  the  men  confined  its  use  exclusively 
to  the  pipe.  But  now  they  seem  to  have  deviated  to  some 
extent  from  that  good  custom;  for  in  my  travels  over  their 
country  during  the  last  few  years,  I  have  frequently  fallen  in 
company  with  Choctaws,  and  when  offered  a  chew  of  tobacco 
it  was  accepted  by  a  few  fullbloods,  and  chewed  with  as 
much  gusto  as  we  rode  along  together,  as  I  dared  to  assume 
with  all  my  long  years  of  experience;  and  thus  I  'ascertained 
that  those  of  the  present  dav  do  not  confine  the  use  of  tobacco 
exclusively  to  the  pipe  as  did  their  fathers  of  the  long  ago, 
proving  the  truthf  ulness'of  the  adage,  "Evil  communications 
corrupt  good  manners,"  and  also  good  habits. 

The  innate  politeness  of  the  Indians,  when  in  their 
strength  and  independence  east  of  the  Mississippi  River,  was 
truly  remarkable.  The  early  explorers  were  surprised  at 
the  perfection  of  this  characteristic  in  the  Choctaw  Indians, 
and  many  expressed  their  admiration  in  their  writings.  If 
a  Choctaw  of  the  long  ago  met  a  white  man  with  whom  he 
was  acquainted  and  on  terms  of  social  friendship,  he  took  his 
proffered  hand,  then  with  a  gentle  pressure  and  forward  in 
clination  of  the  head,  said,  in  a  mild  and  sweet  tone  of  voice: 
"Chishno  pisah  yukpah  siah  it  tikana  su,"  I  am  glad  to  see 
you  my  friend,  and  if  he  has  nothing  of  importance  to  com 
municate,  or  of  anything  to  obtain  information,  he  passed  on 
without  further  remarks;  no  better  proof  of  good  sense  can 
be  manifested,  and  well  worthy  of  imitation. 

„  But  one  of  the  many  noble  traits  among  the  Choctaws 
was  that  of  unfeigned  hospitalit}^;  and  to  that  extent  that  it 
became  proverbial — deservingly  so.  When  any  one  entered 
their  house  or  hunting  camp,  be  he  a  friend,  mere  acquain 
tance  or  entire  stranger,  they  extended  the  hand  of  welcome 
— and  it  was  sincere, — and  after  exchanging  a  few  .words  of 
greeting,  the  visitor  was  invited  to  take  a  seat;  after  which, 
they  observed  the  most  profound  silence,  waiting  for  their 
visitor  to  report  his  business.  When  he  had  done  this,  the 
silent  but  attentive  wife  brought  what  food  she  might  have 

174  '  HISTORY    OF    THE   INDIANS. 

prepared,  (they  were  seldom  found  without  something  on 
hand),  and  her  husband  said  to  his  g-uest:  "Chishno  upah" 
"you  eat."  To  exhibit  a  true  knowledge  of  Choctaw 
etiquette,  it  became  your  duty  to  partake  a  little  of  every 
thing  the  hospitable  wife  had  placed  before  you;  otherwise 
you  would,  though  unwittingly,  cause  your  host  and  hostess 
to  regard  your  neglect  of  duty  as  a  plain  demonstration  of 
contempt  for  their  hospitality — purpose!}*  intended  and  of 

Whether  the  Choctaws  assembled  for  social  conversa 
tion  or  debate  in  council,  there  never  was  but  one  who  spoke 
at  a  time,  and  under  no  circumstances  was  he  interrupted. 
This  noble  characteristic  belongs  to  all  the  North  American 
Indians,  as  far  as  I  have  been  able  to  ascertain.  In  the 
public  councils  of  the  Choctaws,  as  well  as  in  social  gather 
ings  and  religious  meetings,  the  utmost  decorum  always 
prevailed,  and  he  who  was  talking  in  the  social  circle  or  ad 
dressing  the  council  or  lecturing  in  the  religious  meeting, 
always  had  as  silent  and  attentive  hearers  as  ever  delighted 
and  blessed  a  speaker.  A  noble  characteristic.  And  when 
a  question  had  been  discussed,  before  putting  it  to  a  vote,  a 
few  minutes  were  always  given  for  silent  meditation,  during 
which  the  most  profound  silence  was  observed;  at  the  expira 
tion  of  the  allotted  time,  the  vote  of  the  assembly  was  taken  ; 
and  which,  I  have  been  informed,  is  still  kept  up  to  this  day. 
For  many  years  after  they  had  arrived  from  their  ancient 
homes  to  the  present  place  of  abode,  no  candidate  for  an 
office  of  any  kind  ever  went  around  among  the  people  solicit 
ing  votes;  the  candidates  merely  gave  notice  by  public  an 
nouncement,  and  that  was  all  ;  and  had  a  candidate  asked  a 
man  for  his  support,  it  would  have  been  the  death  knell  to 
his  election. 

On  the  day  of  the  election,  the  name  of  all  the  candidates 
were  written  in  regular  order  upon  a  long  strip  of  paper, 
with  the  office  to  which  each  aspired  written  opposite  to  his 
name;  and  when  the  polls  were  opened,  this  paper,  with  the 
names  of  the  candidates  and  the  offices  to  which  each 
aspired  written  upon  it,  was  handed  to  the  voter  when  he 
presented  himself  at  the  polls  to  vote,  who  commenced  at 
the  top  of  the  list  and  called  out  the  name  of  the  candidate  he 
wished  to  support  for  the  different  offices;  if  the  voter  could 
not  read,  then  one  of  the  officers  in  charge  of  the  election, 
who  could  read,  took  the  paper  and  slowly  read  the  names 
and  the  office  each  aspirant  desired;  and  the  voter  called  out 
the  name  of  each  candidate  for  whom  he  wished  to  vote  as  he 
read;  and  no  candidate  ever  manifested  any  hard  feelings 


-toward  those  who  voted  against  him.  Here  was  exhibited 
true  liberty  and  free  suffrage. 

De  Soto  found  the  southern  Indians  to  be  an  agricultural 
people,  provident,  patriotic,  hospitable  and  generous,  .three 
hundred  and  fifty  years  ago;  and  when  he  tested  their  patri 
otism  at  Momabinah,  and  Chickasahha  he  learned  to  his  sat 
isfaction  that  their  heroic  bravery  in  defense  of  their 
country,  their  homes  'and  heaven  bequeathed  right,  was 
unsurpassed  in  the  history  of  the  world. 

The  missionaries  found  them  in  1815.  an  unlettered 
people,  yet  far  from  meriting  the  title  savage  in  the  common 
acceptation  of  the  word.  They  found  them  to  be  a  noble 
hearted  and  interesting  people  free  of  a  majority  of  the  de 
basing  vices  practiced  by  the  whites,  and  acquainted  with 
many  of  the  domestic  and  agricultural,  and  possessing  many 
utensils  and  implements  belonging  to  each;  on  a  small  scale 
'tis  true,  yet  amply  sufficient  for  their  wants. 

They  recognized  and  acknowledged  a  Supreme  Being, 
—The  Great  Spirit,  the  creator  and  ruler  of  all  things.  This 
Great  Spirit  was  held  in  great  reverence  by  all  Indians. 
Never  did  a  North  American  Indian  profane  the  name  of  his 
Creator  or  deny  his  power. 

The  Choctaw  warrior,  as  I  knew  him  in  his  native  Mis 
sissippi  forest,  was  as  fine  a  specimen  of  manly  perfection 
as  I  have  ever  beheld.  He  seemed  to  be  as  perfect  as 
the  human  form  could  be.  Tall,  beautiful  in  symmetry  of 
form  and  face,  graceful,  active,  straight,  fleet,  with  lofty  and 
independent  bearing,  he  seemed  worthy  in  saying,  as  he  of 
Juan  Fernandez  fame:  "I  am  monarch  of  all  I  survey."  His 
black,  piercing  eye  seemed  to  penetrate  and  read  the  very 
thoughts  of  the  heart,  while  his  firm  step  proclaimed  a  feel 
ing-sense  of  his  manly  tndependence.  Nor  did  their  women 
iall  behind  in  all  that  pertains  to  female  beauty.  I  have  seen 
among  the  Choctaws  and  Chickasaws,  when  living  east  of  the 
Mississippi,  as  beautiful  young  women  as  could  be  found 
among  any  nation  of  people — civilized  or  uncivilized.  Many 
of  them  seemed,  and  truly  were,  nymphs  of  the  woods. 
They  were  of  such  unnatural  beauty  that  they  literally  ap 
peared  to  light  up  everything  around  them.  Their  shoul 
ders  were  broad  and  square '  and  their  carriage  true  to 
Nature  which  has  never  been  excelled  by  the  hand  of  art, 
their  long,  black  tresses  hung  in  flowing  waves,  extending 
nearly  to  the  ground;  but  the  beauty  of  the  countenances  of 
many  of  those  Choctaw  and  Chickasaw  girls  was  so  extra 
ordinary  that  if  such  faces  were  seen  to-day  in  one  of  the 
parlors  of  the  fashionable  world,  they  would  be  considered 
as  a  type  of  beauty  hitherto  unknown.  It  was  the  wild  un- 


trammeled  beauty  of  the  forest,  at  the  same  time  melancholy 
and  splendid.  The  bashful  calm  in  their  large,  magnificent 
eyes,  shaded  by  unusually  long-,  black  eye-lashes,  cannot  be 
described;  nor  Vet  the  glance,  nor  the  splendid  light  of  the 
smile  which  at  times  lit  up  the  countenance  like  a  flash,  ex 
posing  the  leveliest  white  and  even  teeth.  Vainly  one  was 
tempted  to  believe  a  whole  nocturnal  world  lay  in  those 
eyes,  the  dark  fringe  of  which  cast  a  shadow  upon  the  cheek; 
while  they  seemed  to  glance  downward  into  a  depth, -dreamy, 
calm  and  melancholy,  without  a  tinge  or  shadow  of  gloom. 
'Twas  a  beauty  ind'eed  upon  which  they  who  looked,  long 
gazed  that  they  might  call  it  up  in  after  days,  as  some  wild 
melody  that  haunts  them  still,  when  far  a  ways,  Then  the 
Choctaw's  boast  was — and  justly  too — "Chahtah  siah  !"  and 
with  as  much  merited  pride  as  he  of  old  "Romanus  sum." 

But  alas!  what  a  change  has  seventy-five  years  wrought 
upon  this  once  free  and  happy  people!  How  different  the 
present  generation  from  that  happy,  independent  spirit  that 
characterized  their  people  when  living  in  their  ancient 
domains  now  the  State  of  Mississippi!  That  manly  bearing 
has  given  place  to  weakness  and  dejection;  that  eye,  once  so 
bright,  bold  and  piercing,  is  now  faint  and  desponding.  The 
Choctaws  once  looked  you  straight  in  the  eye  with  fearless 
yet  polite,  manly  independence;  his  descendants  now  scarcely 
raise  their  heads  to  greet  you.  They  seem  no  longer  to  view 
life  through  the  rainbow  lenses  of  sanguine  hope,  but  as  those 
in  despair.  Ah,  the  world  may  die,  but  there  are  some 
sorrows  immortal. /  I  have  frequently  met,  here  and  there,  a 
few  Choctaws  in  Texas  bordering  on  Red  River.  They 
seemed  as  strangers  wandering .  in  a  strange  land  among 
whose  people  no  voice  of  sympathy  could  be  heard;  no  word  of 
commisseration  to  be  found;  no  smile  of  encouragement  to  be 
seen.  With  each  different  little  band  I  tried  to  introduce  a 
conversation  only  to  be  disappointed;  and  though  I  addressed 
them  in  their,  own  native  language;  I  could  only  obtained  a 
reply  in  a  few  scarcely  audible  monosyllables.  They  remem 
bered  the  past  and  were  silent,  yet  how  eloquent  that 

In  1832,  at  Hebron,  the  home  of  the  missionary,  Calvin 
Cushman  and  his  family,  was  the  place  appointed  for  the 
assembling  of  all  the  Choctaws  in  that  district  prepartory  to 
their  exodus  from  their  ancient  domaines  to  a  place  they 
knew  not  wnere;  but  toward  the  setting  sun  as  arbitrary 
power  had  decreed.  Sad  and  mounful  indeed  was  their  gath 
ering  together — helpless  and  hopeless  under  the  hand  of  a 
haman  power  that  knew  no  justice  or  mercy. 

I  was  an  eye  witness  to  that  scene  of  desparing  woe  and 



heard  their  sad  refrain.  I  frequently  visited  their  encamp 
ment  and  strolled  from  one  part  of  it  to  another;'  while  from 
every  part  of  their  wide  extended  camp,  as  I  walked,  gazed 
and  wondered  at  the  weird  appearance  of  the  scene,  there 
came,  borne  upon  the  morn  and  evening  breeze  from  every 
point  of  the  vast  encampment,  faintly,  yet  distinctly,  the 
plaintive  sounds  of  weeping — rising's/and  falling  in  one 
strangely  sad  and  melancholy  chorus,  then  dying  away  in  a 
last,  long-drawn  wail.  It  was  the  Availing  of  the  Choctaw 
women — even  as  that  of  Rachel  for  her  children. 

Around  in  different  groups  .they  sat  with  their  children 
from  whose  quivering  lips  sobs  and  moans  came  in  subdued 
unison;  now,  in  wild  concert  united,  their  cries  quivered  and 
throbbed  as  they  rose  and  fell  on  the  night  air,  then  dying 
away  in  a  pathetic  wail  proclaiming,  in  language  not  to  be 
misunderstood,  the  pressure  of  the  ang'uish  that  was  crush 
ing  their  souls — hidden  from  human  eyes  and  told  only  to 
the  night.  Truly,  their  grief  was  so  deep,  so  overpowering, 
that  even  reason  seemed  to  reel,  blighted  beneath  its  wither 
ing  touch,  too  great  to  admit  the  comfort  of  human  sym 

The  venerable  old  men,  who  long  had  retired  from  the 
hardships  and  fatigues  of  war  and  the  chase,  expressed  the 
majesty  of  silent  grief;  yet  there  came  now  and  them  a  sound 
that  here  and  there  swelled  from  a  feeble  moan  to  a  deep, 
sustained  groan — -'rising  and  falling  till  it  died  away  just  as 
it  began.  True,  a  few  encouraging  smiles  of  hope,  though 
utterly  void  of  sincerity,  would  not  have  been  out  of  place, 
but  they  were  unlearned  in  such  subtle  arts;  therefore,  their 
upturned  faces  mutely,  but  firmly -spoke  the  deep  sorrow 
that  heaved  vvithin,  as  they  sat  in  little  groups,  their  gray 
heads  uncovered  in  the  spray  of  dancing  sunshine  which  fell 
through  the  branches  of  the  trees  from  above,  while  pitiful 
indeed  was  the  feeble  semblance  of  approval  of  the  white 
man's  policy  which  they  strove  to  keep  in  their  care  worn 
countenances;  while  the  heart-piercing  cries  of  the  women 
and  children,  seated  upon  the  ground  with  heads  covered 
with  shawls  and  blankets  and  bodies  swinging  forward  and 
backward,  set  up  day  and  night,  sad  tones  of  woe  echoing 
far  back  from  the  surrounding  but  otherwise  silent  forests, 
presenting  a  scene  baffling  in  description  the  power  of  all 
human  language;  while  the  young  and  middle-aged  warriors, 
now  subdued  and  standing  around  in  silence  profound,  gazed 
into  space  and  upon  the  scattered  clouds  as  they  slowly 
swept  across  the  tender  blue,  lending  wings  to  the  imagina 
tion  which  seemed  momentary  to  still,  with  a  sense  of  their 
own  eternal  calm,  the  conflicting  thoughts  that  then  composed 


the  turbulent  garison  of  their  hearts.  Inaudible,  yet  from 
flashing-  eyes  and  lips  compressed  that  bespoke  the  emotions 
that  surged  within,  could  be  read,  "Why  longer  seek  for 
hope  amid  the  ashes  of  life"?  While  here  and  there  was 
heard  an  inarticulate  moan  seeking  expression  in  some  snatch 
of  song,  which  announced  its  leaving  a  broken  heart. 

But  why  dwell  upon  such  bitter  memories?  My  soul 
finds  no  pleasure  in  them.  Deep  down  to  undiscovered 
depths  has  my  life  among,  and  study  of  the  North  Ameri 
can  Indians  during  over  three  score  and  ten  years,  enabled  me 
to  penetrate  their  human  nature  with  all  their  endurances 
and  virtues.  What  the  world  ought  to  know,  that  I  have 
written;  and  especially  for  those  who  desire  more  light  on 
that  unfortunate  race  of  people,  and  feel  an  interest  in  truth, 
justice,  and  what  concerns  humanity  the  world  over.  To 
me  was  offered  the  mission,  and  I  accepted  it  because  my 
conscience  approved  it  as  right;  and  I  have  thus  far,  exerted 
every  power  to  fulfill  even  to  the  letter  and  shall  so  continue 
to  the  end;  allowing  each  reader  to  freely  think  his  or  her 
own  thoughts. 

Every  missionary  among  the  Choctaws,  when  he  entered 
the  mission  gave  a  pjedge  that  he  would  devote  his  or  her 
life  to  the  service  of  God  in  the  cause  of  civilizing  and  Chris- 
tainizing  the  Choctaw  people,  with  no  remuneration  what* 
ever  except  that  of  food  and  clothing  for  himself  and  family. 
This  was  supplied  by  the  Board  of  Foreign  Missions  estab 
lished  at  Boston,  Mass.,  to  which  Board  everything  pertain 
ing  to  the  mission  in  the  way  of  property  belonged — the 
missionaries  owning  nothing.  This  Board  had  spent  a  great 
deal  towards  the  missions,  and,  in  the  removal  of  the  Choc- 
taws  west,  was  unable  to  build  up  new  missions  there  of  suf 
ficient  number  to  supply  labor  for  all  of  ^e  missionaries; 
hence,  all  but  three  were  absolved  from  their  pledge,  who 
soon  returned  to  their  friends  iu  Massachusetts,  while  the 
three — Messrs  Kingsbury,  Byington  and  Hotchkins,  with 
their  families,  followed  the  exiled  Choctaws  to  their  unknown 
homes  to  be  found  in  the  wilderness  of  the  west.  Mr.  Cal 
vin  Cushman  was  one  of  the  two  who  remained  in  Mississip 
pi,  and  died  at  his  old  Missionary  Post,  Hebron,  a  few  years 
after  the  banishment  of  his  old  and  long  tried  friends  the 
Choctaws,  for  whose  moral  and  intellectual  benefit  he  had  so 
long  and  faithfully  laborea;  and  the  other  was  Mr.  Elijah 
Bardwell,  who  labored  at  Ok-la  Huii-na-li  sixty  miles  south 
west  of  Hebron,  but  who,  after  the  banishment  of  the  Choc 
taws,  moved  to  a  point  a  mile  and  a  half  east  of  the  present  town 
of  Starkville,  Mississippi.  He  too,  with  all  the  rest  of  his  co- 
Ja.borers,  has  long  since  also  gone  to  his  reward  in  the  blissfu 

HISTORY    OF    THE   INDIANS.  $  179 


Immortality;  but  whose  names  still  live,  in  honored  remem 
brance  in  the  hearts  of  a  few  aged  Choctaws,  who  still  sur 

As  an  example  of  the  faithfulness  with  which  those 
ancient  missionaries  adhered  to  every  principle  inculcated  in 
the  religion  they  professed  among  and  preached  to  the  Choc- 
taws  of  the  long  ago,  I  will  here  relate  the  following  as 
worthy  of  remembrance. 

In  the  early  days  of  the  town  of  Starkville,  Mississippi,  a 
blacksmith,  (John  McGaughey),  established  a  shop  in  the 
embryo  city,  and,  in  ponnection  with  his  smithing,  also 
traded  in  horses,  keeping  a  few  on  hand  all  the  time.  Mr. 
Bardwell  knowing  this,  and  wishing  to  purchase  a  horse, 
called  at  Mr.  McGaughey 's  shop  one  morning  and  asked  him  if 
he  had  a  horse  for  sale  that  would  be  suitable  for  a  farm. 
Mac.  replying  in  the  affirmative  they  went  to  the  stable, 
where  Mr.  Bardwell,  after  examining  the  animal,  asked  the 
price.  To  this  Mr.  McGaughey  replied:  "Eighty-five 
dollars."  "I  regard  that  as  too  high  a  price,"  said  Mr. 
Bardwell.  Mr.  McGaughey,  well  knowing  the  aged  mission 
ary  and  having  unlimited  confidence  in  his  integity,  asked 
him  what  he  believed  the  horse  to  be  worth.  To  which  Mr. 
Bardwell  replied:  "Sixty-five  dollars."  "You  can  have  him 
at  that  price,"  responded  Mr.  McGaughey.  Mr.  Bardwell 
paid  the  money  and  took  the  horse.  The  trade  was  made  in 
the  spring  of  the  year.  Early  in  the  following  autumn,  Mr. 
Bardwell  called  at  the  shop  and,  after  the  usual  salutation, 
handed  Mr.  McGaughey  twenty  dollars,  saying;  "Here  is 
that  money  that  I  owe  you."  Mr.  McGaughey,  in  much 
astonishment,  replied:  '  "You  are  certainly  mistaken.  You 
-do  .not  owe  me  a  dollar,  you  have  always  paid  me  the  cash 
for  all  the  work  I  have  done  for  you  in  my  shop."  "True"! 
said  Mr.  Bardwell.  "But  this  is  not  for  work  done  in  the 
shop,  but  is  due  you  in  a  trade  we  made  last  spring."  "What 
trade"?  asked  Mr.  McGaughey  in  unfeigned  suprise.  "Why! 
in  the  purchase  of  a  horse  from  you,"  replied  Mr.  Bardwell. 
"But  you  paid  me  the  sixty-five  dollars  cash,  the  price  for 
which  I  told  you,  you  could  have  him."  "True,"  replied  Mr. 
Bardwell,  "But  you  judged  the  horse  to  be  worth  eighty-five 
dollars,  while  I  estimated  his  worth  at  only  sixty-five;  upon 
trial  I  have  found  him  to  be  well  worth  the  eighty-five  dollars, 
the  price  you  first  asked  for  him.  Here  is  your  money." 
"But,  Mr.  Bardwell,  I  cannot  accept  the  money.  It  was  a 
fair  trade."  "Not  so;"  replied  the  aged  missionary,  "you  were 
right,  Mr.  McGaughey  in  your  judgment  as  to  the  correct 
value  of  the  horse,  and  I  was  wrong.  I  insist  upon  your 
accepting  that  which  is  your  just  due."  Mr.  McGaughey 


finally  accepted  the  twenty  dollars  but  only  through  his 'great- 
respect  for  Mr.  Bardwell,  whose  feelings  he  knew  would  be 
wounded  if  he  did  not  accept  the  proffe red-twenty  dollars. 

Mr.  John  McGaughey,  many  years  afterwards,  frequent 
ly  related  this  horse  trade. 

Seventy  years  ago,  the  Choctaw  hunter  generally  hunted 
alone  and  on  foot;  and  when  he  killed  his  game,  unless  small, 
he  left  it  where  it  had  fallen,  and  turning  his  footsteps  home 
ward,  traveled  in  a  straight  line,  here  and  there  breaking  a 
twig  leaving  its  top  in  the  direction  he  had  come,  as  a  guide 
to  his  wife  whom  he  intended  to  send  to  bring  it  home.  As 
soon  as  he  arrived, he  informed  he!"  of  his  success  and  merely 
pointed  in  the  direction  in  which  h«e  the  game  lay.  At  once 
she  mounted  a  pony  and  started  in  the  direction  indicated ; 
and  guided  by  the  broken  twigs,  she~soon  arrived  at  the  spot, 
picked  up  and  fastened  the  dead  animal  to  the  saddle,  mounted 
and  soon  was  at  home  again;  then  soon  dressed  and  prepared  a 
portion  for  her  hunter  lord's  meal,  while  he  vsat  and  smoked 
his  pipe  in  meditative  silence.  No  animal  adapted  for  food 
was  ever  killed  in  wanton  sport  by  any  Indian  hunter. 

As  a  marksman  the  Choctaw  could  not  be  surpassed  in 
the  use  of  the  rifle.  It  mattered  not  whether  his  game  was 
standing  or  running;  a  bullet  shot  from  his  rifle, when  directed 
by  his  experienced  eye,  was  a  sure  messenger  of  death.  A 
shotgun  was  regarded  with  great  contempt,  and  never  used. 
The  rifle,  and  the  rifle  alone,  would  he  use.  To  surprise  a 
Choctaw  warrior  or  hunter  in  the  woods — see  him  before  he 
saw  you — was  a  feat  not  easily  accomplished  ;  in  fact,  impos 
sible  by  an  experienced  white  woodsman,  and  extremely 
.difficult  even  by  the  most  experienced.  His  watchful  and 
practiced  eye  was  always  on  the  alert,  whether  running, 
walking,  standing  or  sitting  ;  and  his  acute  ear,  attentive  to 
every  passing  sound,  heard  the  most  feeble  noise,  which,  to 
the  white  man's  ear  was  utter  silence. 

Years  ago  I  had  a  Choctaw  (full-blood)  friend  as  noble 
and  true  as  ever  man  possessed,  and  whom  once  to  know 
was  to  remember  with  an  esteem  approaching  the  deepest 
affection;  and  of  whom  I  was  justly  proud  and  in  whoin  I 
took  delight;  and  to-day,  had  I  a  hundred  tongues,  I  could 
not  express  my  appreciation  of  that  noble  friend.  He  was 
indeed  a  cordial  to  my  heart — oft  imparting  to  me  an  earnest 
of  happiness  which  I  thought  had  fled.  Oft  in  our  frequent 
hunts  together,  while  silently  gliding  through  the  dense 
forests  ten  or  fifteen  rods  apart,  he  would  attract  my  atten 
tion  by  his  well-known  ha  ha  (give  caution)  in  a  low  but  dis 
tinct  tone  of  voice,  and  point  to  a  certain  part  of  the  woods 
where  he  had  discovered  an  animal  of  some  kind;  and  though 

HISTORY    OF    THE    INDIANS.  181' 


I  looked  as  closely  as  possible  I  could  see  nothing-  whatever 
that  resembled  a  living-  object  of  any  kind.  Being-  at  too 
great  aMistance  to  risk  a  sure  shot,  he  would  signal  me  to 
remain  quiet,  as  he  endeavored  to  get  closer.  To  me  that 
wras  the  most  exciting  and  interesting  part  of  the  scene;  for 
then  began  those  strategic  movements  in  which  the  most 
skillful  white  hunter  that  I  have  ever  seen,  was  a  mere  bun 
gler.  With  Deepest  interest,  not  unmixed  with  excitement,! 
closely  watched  his  every  movement  as  he  slowly  and  stealth 
ily  advanced,  writh  eyes  fixed  upon  his  object;  now  crawling 
noiselessly  upon  his  hands  and  knees,  then  as  motionless  as 
a  stump;  now  stretched  full  length  upon  the  ground,  then 
standing  erect  and  motionless;  then  dropping  suddenly  to 
the  ground,  and  crawling  off  at  an  acute  angle  to  the  right 
•or  left  to  get  behind  a  certain  tree  or  log,  here  and  there 
stopping  and  slowly  raising  his  head  just  enough  to  look 
over  the  top  of  the  grass;  then  again  be  hidden  until  he 
reached  the  desired  tree;  with  intense  mingled  curiosity  and 
excitement,  when  hidden  from  my  view  in  the  grass,  did  I 
seek  to  follow  him  in  his  course  with  my  eyes.  Oft  I  wrould 
see  a  little  dark  spot  not  larger  than  1113'  fist  just  above  the 
top  of  the  grass,  which  slowly  grew  larger  and  larger  until  I 
discovered  it  was  his  motionless  head;  and  had  I  not  known 
he  was  there  somewhere  I  wrould  not  have  suspected  it  was 
a  human  head  or  the  head  of  anything  else;  and  as  I  kept  my 
eyes  upon  it,  I  noticed  it  slowly  getting  smaller  until  it  grad- 
ually  disappeared;  and  when  he  reached  the  tree,  he  then 
observed  the  same  caution  slowly  rising  until  he  stood  erect 
and  close  to  the  body  of  the  tree,  then  slowly  and  cautiously 
peeping  around  it  first  on  the  right,  then  on  the  left;  and 
when,  at  this  juncture,  I  have  turned  jpy  eyes  from  him,  but 
momentarily-  as  I  thought,  to  the  point  where  I  thought  the 
game  must  be,  being  also  eager  to  satisfy  m3r  excited  curi 
osity  as  to  the  kind  of  animal  he  was  endeavoring  to  shoot, 
yet,  when  I  looked  to  the  spot  where  I  had  just  seen  him — 
lo!  he  was  not  there;  and  while  wondering  to  what  point  of 
the  compass  he  had  so  suddenly  disappeared  unobserved, 
and  vainly  looking  to  find  bis  mysterious  whereabouts,  I 
would  be  startled  by  the  sharp  crack  of  his  rifle  in  a  differ 
ent  direction  from  that  in  which  I  was  looking  for  him,  and 
in  turning  my  eye  would  see  him  slowl3T  rising  out  of  the 
grass  at  a  point  a  hundred  yards  distant  from  where  I  had 
last  seen  him.  "Well,  old  fellow,"  I  then  ejaculated  to  my 
self,  "I  would  not  hunt  for  you  in  a  wild  forest  for  the  purpose 
of  obtaining  your  scalp,  knowing,  at.  the  same  time,  that  you 
were  somewhere  about  seeking  also  to  secure  mine;  I  would 
just  call  to  you  to  come  and  take  it  at  once  and  save  anxiety." 


Talk  about  a  whi?e  man  out  maneuvering-  an  Indian  m  a  for 
est,  is  an  absurdity — veritable  nonsense. 

Frequently  have  I  proposed  to  exchange  guns^  with 
George  (that  was  his  name — simply  Georg-e  and  nothing- 
else)  my  double  barrel  shot-gun  for  his  rifle,  but  he  invari 
able  refused;  and  when  I 'asked  for  his  objection  to  my  gun, 
he  ever  had  but  one  and  the  same  reply — "Him  push."  He 
did  not  fancy  the  reaction  or  "kicking"  so  oft  experienced  in 
shooting-  the" shot-gun  which  George  had,  no  doubt,  once  ex 
perienced  to  his  entire  satisfaction.  Generous  and  faithful 
George!  I  wonder  where  you  are  to-day  ?  If  on  the  face  of 
God's  green  earth,  I  am  sure — humble  though  you  may  be- 
there  is  one  true  heart  above  the  sod  that  still  beats  in  love 
for  me.  \ 

.  It  was  truly  wonderful  with  what  ease  and  certainty  the 
Choctaw  hunter  and  warrior  made  his  way  through  the  dense 
forests  of  his  country  to  any  point  he  wished  to  go,  near  or 
distant.  But  give  him  the  direction,  was  all  he  desired;  with 
an  unerring  certainty,  though  never  having  been  in  that  part 
of  tire  country  before,  he  would  go  over  hill  and  valley, 
through  thickets  and  canebrakes  to  the  desired  point,  that 
seemed  incredible.  I  have  known  the  little  Choctaw  boys,  in 
their  juvenile  excursions  with  their  bows  and  arrows  and 
blow-guns  to  wander  miles  away  from  their  homes,  this  way 
and  that  through  the  woods,  and  return  home  at  night,  with 
out  a  thought  or  fear  of  getting  lost;  nor  did  their  parents 
have  any  uneasiness  in  regard  to  their  wanderings.  It  is  a 
universal  characteristic  of -the  Indian,  when  traveling  in  aii,un- 
known  country,  to  let  nothing  pasxs  unnoticed.  His  watch 
ful  eye  marks  every  distinguishing  feature  of  the  surround 
ings — a  peculiarly  leaning  or  fallen  tree,  stump  or  bush,  rock 
or  hill,  creek  or  branch,  he  will  recognize  years  afterwards, 
and  use  them  as  land  marks,  in  going  again  through  the 
same  country,  Thus  the  Indian  hunter  was  enabled  to  go 
into  a  distant  forest,  where  he  never  before  had  been,  pitch 
his  camp,  leave  it  and  hunt  all  day — wandering  this  way  and 
that  over  hills  and  through  jungles  for  miles  away,  and  re 
turn  to  his  camp  at  the  close  of  the  day  with  that  apparent 
ease  and  unerring  certainty,  that  baffled  all  the  ingenuity  of 
the  white  man  and  appeared  to  him  as  bordering  on  the  mir 
aculous.  Ask  any  Indian  for  directions  to  a  place,  near  or 
distant,  and  he  merely  points  in  the  direction  you  should  go, 
regarding  that  as  sufficient  information  for  any  one  of  com 
mon  sense. 

In  traveling  through  the  Choctaw  Nation  in  1884,  at  one 
time  I  desired  to  go  to  a  point  forty  miles  distant,  to  which 
led  a  very  dim  path,  at  times  scarcely  deserving  the  name,, 


and  upon  making  inquiry  of  different  Choctaws  whom  I  fre 
quently  met  along1  my  way,  they  only  pointed  in  the  direction 
I  must  travel  and  passed  on;  and  being  ashamed  to  let  it  appear 
that  I  did  not  have  sense  enough  to  goto  the  desired  point  after 
being  told  the  direction,  I  rode  on  without  further  inquiry, 
and  by  taking  the  path,  at  every  fork  that  seemed  to  lead  the 
nearest  in  the  direction  I  had  been  told  to  travel,  I,  in  good 
time,  reached  my  place  of  destination.  So,  after  all,  the 
Choctaws  told  me  all  that  was  necessary  in  the  matter. 

The  ancient  Choctaw  warrior   and  hunter   ieft   the  do 
mestic  affairs  of  his  humble  home  wholly  to  the  management 
of  his  wife   and    children.     The   hospitalities   of   his   cabin, 
however,    were    always    open   to    friend    or    stranger,    but 
before  whom  he  ever  assumed  a  calm  and  respectful  reserve, 
though  nothing  escaped   his  notice.     If  questioned  he  would 
readily  enter  into  a  conversation  concerning  his  exploits  as  a 
warrior  an$  hunter,  but  was  indifferent  upon  the  touching 
episodes  of  home,  with  its  scenes  of*  domestic  bliss  or  woe, 
though  their  tendrils  were   as   deeply   and   strangely  inter 
woven  with  the  fibres  of  his  heart  as  with  those  of  any  other 
of  The   human   race.     The   vicissitudes  of  life,  its  joys  and 
sorrows,  its  hopes  and  fears,  were  regarded  as  unworthy  the 
consideration  of  a  warrior  and  hunter;  but  the   dangers,  the 
fatigues  and  hardships  of  war  and  the  chase  as  subjects  only 
worthy  to   be   mentioned.     Yet,  with   all   this,  in   unfeigned 
a  ffection  for  his  wife,  children,  kindred  and  friends;  in  deep 
a  nxiety  for  them  in  sickness  and  distress;  in  untiring  efforts 
to    relieve  their  necessities  and   wants;  in  anxiety  for  their 
sa  fety  in  hours  of  danger;  in  fearless  exposure  of  himself  to 
p  rotect  them  from  harm ;  in  his  silent  yet  deep  sorrow  at 
their  death;  in  his  unassumed  joy   in   their   happiness;   in 
the  se^all  Indians  stand  equal  to  any  race  of  people  that  ever 
liv  ed.     And  when  roaming  with  him  years  ago  in  the  solitudes 
of  his  native  forests,  and  have  looked  upon  him,  whose  nature 
and  peculiar  habits  have  been  declared  by  the  world  to  have 
no  place  with  the  rest  of  the  human   family,  and  then   have 
gone  with  him  to   his  humble,  but  no  less  hospitable,  forest 
home,  and   there   witnessed  the  same  evidences   of   joy   and 
sorrow,  of  hope   and    fear,    of   pleasure  and   pain   that   are 
every  where  peculiar  to   man's  nature,  I   could    but  be  more 
firmly  established  in  that  which  I  long  had  known,  that  the 
North  American  Indian,  from  first  to  last,  had  been  wrong 
fully  and  shamefully  misrepresented,  and  though  in  him  are 
blended   vindictive   and   revengeful   passions,  so   much    con 
demned  by  the  civilized  world,  yet  I  found  these  were  equally 
balanced  by   warm,  generous,    and   noble    feelings,  as   were 
found  in  any  class  of  the  human  race: 


To  the  ancient  Choctaw  warrior  and  hunter,  excitement 
of  some  kind  was  indispehsible  to  relieve  the  tedium  of  the 
nothing-to-do  in  which  a  great  part  of  his  life  was  spent. 
Hence  the  intervals  between  war  and  hunting  were  filled  up 
by  various  amusements,  ball  plays,  dances,  foot  and  horse 
races,  trials  of  strength  and  activity  in  wrestling  and  jump 
ing,  all  of  which  being  regulated  by  rules  and  regulations  of 
a  complicated  etiquette. 

But  the  Tolik  (Ball  play)  was  the  ultimatum  of  all  games 
— uthe  sine  qua  non"  of  all  amusements  to  the  Indians  of  the 
south;  and  to  which  he  atttached  the  greatest  importance, 
and  in  the  engagement  of  which  his  delight  reached  its  high 
est  perfection,  and  in  the  excelling  of  which  his  ambition  fell 
not  below  that  of  him  who  contested  in  the  Olympic  games  of 
ancient  Greece. 

A  Choctaw  Tolik  seventy  years  ago,  was  indeed  a  game 
that  well  might  have  astonished  the  Titan,  and  diverted 
them,  pro.  tern,  at  least,  from  their  own  pastime.  But 
when  I  look  back  through  the  retrospective  years  of  the  long 
past  to  that  animating  scene,  and  then  read  in  recent  yearjs 
th£  different  attempts  made  by  many  through  the  journals 
of  the  day  to  describe  a  genuine  ChoctawT  Ball-play  of  those 
years  ago,  it  excites  a  smile  and  only  intensifies  the  hold 
memory  retains  of  that  indescribable  game.  No  one,  who 
has  not  witnessed  it,  can  form  a*  just  idea  of  the  scene  from 
any  description  given;  for  it  baffles  all  the  powers  of  lan 
guage  and  must  be  seen  to  be  in  any  way  comprehended. 
The  base  ball-play  of  the  present  day,  so  popular  among  the 
whites,  in  point  of  .deep  interest  and  wild  excitement  pro 
duced  in" the  spectator,  when  compared  to  the  Chashpo  Tolik 
(Ancient  Ball-play)  of  'the  Choctaws  east  of  the  Mississippi 
river,  bears  about  the  same  relation  that  the  light  of  the 
crescent  moon  does  to  the  mid-day  light  of  the  mighty  orb  o^ 
day  in  a  cloudless  sky.  However",  I  will  attempt  a  descrip 
tion,  though  well  aware  that  after  all  that  can  be  said,  the 
reader  will  only  be  able  to  form  a  very  imperfect  idea  of  the 
weird  scene. 

When  the  warriors  of  a  village,  wearied  by  the 'mono 
tony  of  every  day  life,  desired  a  change  that  was  truly  from 
one  extreme  to  that  of  another,  they  sent  a  challenge  to  those 
of  another  village  of  their  own  tribe,  and,  not  infrequently, 
to  those  of  a  neighboring  tribe,  to  engage  in  a  grand  ball-play. 
If  the  challenge  was  accepted,  and  it  was  rarely  ever  declined 
a  suitable  place  was  selected  and  prepared  by  the  challengers, 
and  a  day  agreed  upon.  The  Hetoka  (ball  ground)  was 
selected  in  some  beautiful  level  plain  easily  found  in  their  then 
beautiful  and  romantic  country.  Upon  the  ground,  from 


three  hundred  to  four  hundred  yards  apart,  two  straight 
pieces  of  timber  were  firmly  planted  close  tog-ether  in  the 
ground,  each  about  fifteen  feet  in  height,  and  from  four  to 
six  inches  in  width,  presenting  a  front  of  a  foot  or  more. 
These  were  called  Aiulbi.  (Ball  posts.)  During  the  inter 
vening  time  between  the  day  of  the  challenge  and  thai  of  the 
play,  great  preparations  were  made  on  both  sides  by  those 
who  intended  to  engage  therein.  With  much  care  and 
unaffected  solemnity  they  went  through  with  their  prepara 
tory  ceremonies 

The  night  preceding  the  day  of  the  play  was  spent  in 
painting,  with  the  same  care  as  when  preparing  for  the  war 
path,  dancing  with  frequent  rubbing  of  both  the  upper  and 
lower  limbs,  and  taking  their  "sacred  medicine." 

In  the  mean  time,  tidings  of  the  approaching  play  spread 
on  wing's  of  the  wind  from  village  to  villag'e  and  from  neigh 
borhood  to  neighborhood  for  miles  away;  and  during  the 
first  two  or  three  days  preceding  the  play,  hundreds  of  In 
dians — the  old,  the  young,  the  gay,  the  grave  of  both  sexes, 
in  immense  concourse,  were  seen  wending  their  way  through 
the  vast  forests  from  every  point  of  the  compass,  toward  the 
ball-ground;  with  their  ponies  loaded  wTith  skins,  furs, 
trinkets,  and  every  other  imaginable  thing  that  was  part  and 
parcel  of  Indian  wealth,  to  stake  upon  the  result  of  one  or  the 
other  side. 

On  the  morning  of  the  appointed  day,  the  players,  from 
seventy-five  to  a  hundred  011  each  side,  strofig  and  athletic 
men,  straight  as  arrows  and  fleet  as  antelopes,  entirely  in  a 
nude  state,  excepting  a  broad  piece  of  cloth  around  the  hips, 
were  heard  in  the  distance  advancing  toward  the  plain  from 
opposite  sides,  making  the  heretofore  silent  forests  ring 
with  their  exulting  songs  and  defiant  hump-he!  (banter)  as 
intimations  of  the  great  f£ats  of  strength  and  endurance, 
fleetness  and  activity  they  would  display  before  'the  eyes  of 
their  admiring  friends.  The  curiosity,  anxiety  and  excite 
ment  now  manifested  by  the  vast  throng  of  assembled  spec 
tators  were  manifested  on  every  countenance.  Soon  the 
players  were  dimly  seen  in  the  distance  through  their  majes 
tic  forests,  flitting  here  and  there  as  spectres  among  the 
trees.  Anon  they  are  all  in  full  view  advancing  from  opposite 
sides  in  a  steady,  uniform  trot,  and  in  perfect  order,  as  if  to 
engage  in  deadly  hand  to  hand  conflict;  now  they  meet  and 
intermingle  in  one  confused  and  disorderly  mass  interchang 
ing  friendly  salutations  dancing  and  jumping  in  the  wildest 
manner,  while  intermingling  with  all  an  artillery  of  wild 
Shakuplichihi  that  echoed  far  back  from  the  solitudes  of  the 
surrounding  woods. 


Then  came  a  sudden  hush — a  silence  deep,'  as  if  all 
Nature  had  made  a  pause — the  prophetic  calm  before  the 
bursting-  storm.  During-  this  brief  interval,  the  betting-  was 
g-oing-  on  and  the  stakes  being-  put  up;  the  articles  bet  were 
all  placed  promiscuously  in  one  place,  often  forming-  a  vast 
conglomeration,  of  thing's  too  numerous  to  mention,  and  the 
winning  side  took  the  pile.-  This  being-'  completed,  the  play 
ers  took  their  places,  each  furnished  with  two  kapucha  (ball- 
sticks),  three  feet  long-,  and  made  of  tough  hickory  wood 
thoroughly  seasoned.  At  one  end  of  each  ka-puch-a  a  very 
ing-enious  device,  in  shape, and  size,  very  similar  to  that  of 
the  hand  half  closed,  was  constructed  of  sinews  of  wild 
animals,  in  which  they  caug-ht  and  threw  the  ball.  It  was 
truly 'astonishing-  with  what  ease  and  certainty  they  would 
catch  the  flying-  ball  in  the  cups  of  the  sticks  and  the  amaz 
ing-  distance  and  accuracy  they  would  hurl  it  throug-h  the 
air.  In  taking-  their  places  at  the  opening-  of  the  play,  ten  or 
twenty,  according-  to  the  number  of  players  engaged,  of  each 
side  were  stationed  at  each  pole.  To  illustrate,  I  will  say, 
ten  of  the  A.  party  and  ten  of  the  B  party  were  placed  at  pole 
C.;  and  ten  of  the  B.  party  and  ten  of  the  A.  party  at  pole  D. 
The  ten  of  the  B  party  who  were  stationed  at  the  pole  C. 
were  called  Fa-lo-mo-li-chi  (Throw-backs);  and  the  ten  of  the 
A.  party  also  stationed  at  pole  C.  were  called  Hat-tak  fa-bus- 
sa  (Pole  men),  and  /the  ten  of  the  A.  party  stationed  at  the 
pole  D.  were  called  Fala  molichi,  and  the  ten  of  the  B.  party 
stationed  at  the  pole  D.,  Hattak  fabussa.  The  business 
of  the  Falamolichi  at  each  pole  was  to  prevent,  if 
possible,  the  ball  thrown  by  the  opposite  party,  from  strik 
ing-  the  pole  C.;  and  throw  it  back  towards  the  pole  D.  to 
their  own  party;  while  that  of  the  Hattak  fabussa  at  pole  C. 
was  to  prevent  this,  catch  the  ball  themselves,  if  possible, 
and  hurl  it  against  the  pole  C.,  and  the  business  of  the  Fala 
molichi  and  Hattak  fabussa  at  the  pole  D.  was  the  same  as 
that  at  the  pole  C.  In  the  centre,  between  the  two  poles, 
were  also  stationed  the  same  number  of  each  party  as  were 
stationed  at  the  poles,  called  Middle  Men,  with  whom  was  a 
chief  "Medicine  man,"  whose  business  was  to  throw  the  ball 
straight  up  into  the  air,  as  the  signal  for  the  'play  to  com 
mence.  The  remaining  players  were  scattered  promiscu 
ously  along  the  line  between  the  poles  and  over  different  por 
tions  of  the  play-ground. 

All  things  being  ready,  the  ball  suddenly  shot  up  into 
the  air  from  the  vigorous  arm  of  the  Medicine  Man,  and  the 
wash-o-ha  (playing)  began.  The  moment  the  ball  was  seen 
in  the  air,  the  players  of  both  sides,  except  the  Falamolichi 
and  Hattak  fabussa,  who  remained  at  their  posts,  rushed  to 


the  spot,  where  the  ball  would  likely  fall,  with  a  fearful  shock. 
Now  began  to  be  exhibited  a  scene  of  wild  grandeur  that 
beggared  all  description.  As  there  were  no  rules  and  regu 
lations  governing  the  manner  of  playing  nor  any  act  con 
sidered  unfair,  each  of  course,  acted  under  the  impulse  of 
thfe  moment  regardless  of  consequences. 

They  threw  down  and  ran  over  each  other  in  the  wild 
excitement  and  reckless  chase  after  the  ball,  stopping  not 
nor  heeding  the  broken  limbs  and  bruised  heads  or  even 
broken  neck  of  a  fallen  player.  Like  a  herd  of  stampeded 
buffaloes  upon  the  western  plains,  they  ran  against  and  over 
each  other,  or  any  thing  else,  man  or  beast,  that  stood  in 
their  way;  and  thus  in  wild  confusion,  and  crazed  excitement 
they  scrambled  and  tumbled,  each  player  straining  every 
nerve  and  muscle  to  its  utmost  tension,  to  get  the  ball  or 
prevent  his  opponent,  who  held  it  firmly  grasped  between 
the  cups  of  his  trusty  kapucha,  from  making  a  successful 
throw;  while  up  and  down  the  lines  the  shouts  of  the  players 
— "Falamochi!  Falamochi!"  (.Throw  it  back!  Throw  it 
back)  as  others  shouted  Hokli!  Hoklio!  (Catch!  Catch!)  The 
object  of  each  party  was  to  throw  the  ball  against  the  two 
upright  pieces  of  timber  that  stood  in  the  direction  of  the 
village  to  which  it  belonged; and,  as  it  came  whizzing  through 
the  air,  with  the  velocity  comparatively  of  a  bullet  shot  from 
a  gun,  a  player  running  at  an  angle  to  intercept  the  flying 
ball,  and  when  near  enough,  would  spring  several  feet  into 
the  air  and  catch  it  in  the  hands  of  his  sticks,  but  ere  he 
could  throw  it,  though  running  at  full  speed,  an  opponent 
would  hurl  him  to  the  ground,  with  a  force  seemingly  suffi 
cient  to  break  every  bone  in  his  body — and  even  to  destroy 
life,  and  as  No.  2  would  wrest  the  ball  from  the  fallen  No.  1 
and  throw  it,  ere  it  had  flown  fifty  feet,  No.  3  would  catch  it 
with  his  unerring  kapucha,  and  not  seeing,  perhaps  an  op 
portunity  of  making  an  advantageous  throw,  would  start  off 
with  the  speed  of  a  deer,  still  holding  the  ball  in  the  cups  of 
his  kapucha — pursued  by  every  player. 

Again  was  presented  to  the  spectators  another  of  those 
exciting  scenes,  that  seldom  fall  to  the  lot  of  one  short  life 
time  to  behold,  which  language  fails  to  depict,  or  imagination 
to  conceive.  He  now  runs  off ,  perhaps,  at  an  acute  angle 
with  that  of  the  line  of  the  poles,  with  seemingly  super-hu 
man  speed;  now  and  then  elevating  above  his  head  his  ka 
pucha  in  which  safely  rests  the  ball,  and  in  defiant  exultation, 
shouts,  "hump-he!  hump-he!"  (I  dare  you)  which  was  ack 
nowledged  by  his  own  party  with  a  wild-response  of  approval, 
but  responded  to  by  a  bold  cry  of  defiance  from  the  opposite 
side.  Then  again  all  is  hushed  and  the  breathless  ,  silence  is 


only  disturbed  by  thelieavy  thud  of  their  running-feet.  For 
a  short  time  he  continues  his  straight  course,  as  if  to  test 
the  speed  of  his  pursuing  opponents;  then  begins  to  circle 
toward  his' pole.  Instantly  comprehending  his  object,  his 
running  friends  circle  with  him,  with  eyes  fixed  upon  him, 
to  secure  all  advantages  given  to  thein  by  any  stragetic  throw 
he  may  make  for  them,  wrhile  his  opponents  are  mingled 
among  them  to  defeat  his  object;  again  he  runs  in  a  straight 
line;  then  dodges  this  way  and  that;  suddenly  he  hears  the 
cry  from  some  one  of  his  party  in  the  rear  of  the  parallel 
running  throng,  who  sees  an  advantage  to  be  gained  if  the 
ball  was  thrown  to  him,  "Falamolichi"!  "Falamolichi"-]  He 
now  turns  and  dashes  back  on  the  line  and  in  response  to  the 
continued  cry — "Falamolichi"!  heiiurls'the  ball  with  all  his 
strength;  with  fearful  velocity  it  flies  through  the  air  and 
falls  near  the  caller;  and  in  the  confusion  made  by  the  sud 
denly  turning  throng,  he  picks  it  up  at  full  speed  with  his 
kapucha,  and  starts  toward  his  pole.  Then  is  heard  the  cry 
of  his  hattak  fabussa.  and  he  hurls  the  ball  toward  them  and, 
as  it  falls,  they  and  the  throw-backs  stationed  at  that  pole, 
rush  to  secure  it;  and  then  ag'ain,  though  on  a  smaller"  scale, 
a  scene  of  wild  confusion  was  seen — scuffling,  pulling,  push 
ing,  butting — unsurpassed  in  any  game  ever  engaged  in  by 
man.  Perhaps,  a  throw-back  secures  the  ball  and  starts 
upon  the  wing,  in  the  direction  of  his  pole,  meeting  the  ad 
vancing  throng,  but  with  his  own  throw-backs  and  the  pole- 
men  of  his  opponents  at  his  heels;  the  latter  to  prevent  him 
from  making  a  successful  throw  and  the  former  to  prevent 
any  interference,  while  the  shouts  of  "Falamolichi!""  "Fala 
molichi!"  arose  from  his  owrn  men  in  the  advancing  runners. 
Again  the  ball  flies  through  the  air,  and  is  about  to  fall  di 
rectly  among  them,  but  ere  it  reaches  thed  ground  many 
spring  into  the  air  to  catch  it,  but  are  tripped  alid  they  fall 
headlong  to  the  earth.  Then,  as  the  ball  reaches  the  ground 
again  is  brought  into  full  requisition  the  propensities  of  each 
one  to  butt,  pull,  and  push,  though  not  a  sound  is  heard,  ex 
cept  the  wild  rattling  of  the  kapucha,  that  reminded  one  of 
the  noise  made  by  the  collision  of  the  horns  of  a  drove  of 
stampeding  Texas  steers.  Oft  amid  the  plav  women  w^re 
seen  giving  water"  to  the  thirsty  and  offering  words  of  encour 
agement;  while  others,  armed  with  long  switches  stood  ready 
to  give  their  expressions  of  encouragement  to  the  supposed 
tardy,  by  a  severe  rap  over  the  naked  shoulders,  as  a  gentle 
reminder  of  their  dereliction  of  duty;  all  of  which  was  re 
ceived  in  good  faith,  yet  invariably  elicited  the  response 
— "Wah!"  as  an  acknowldgement  of  the  favor. 

From  ten  to  twenty  was  generally  the  game.     Whenever 



the  ball  was  thrown  against  the  'upright  fabussa  (poles),  it 
counted  one,  and  the  successful  thrower  shouted;  i'llli  tok," 
(dead)  meaning-  one  number  less;  oft  accompaning  the  shout 
by  gobbing  vociferously  like,  the  wild  turkey,  which  elicited  a 
shout  of  laughter  from  his  party,  and  a  yell  of  defiance  from 
the  other.  TJius  the  exciting-,  and  truly  wild  and  romantic 
scene  was  continued,  with  unbatecl  efforts  on  the  part  of  the 
players 'until  the  game  was  won.  But  woe  to  the  Inconsider 
ate  white  man,  whose  thoughtless  curiosity  had  led  him  too 
far  upon  the  hetoka.  (ball  ground)  and  at  whose  feet  the  ball 
should  chance  to  fall;  if  the  path  to  that  ball  was  not  clear 
of  all  obstructions,  the  200  players,  now  approaching 
writh  the  rush  of  a  mighty  whirlwind  would  soon  make  it  so. 
And  right  then  and  there,  though  it  might  be  the  first  time  in 
life,  he  became  a  really  active  man,  if  the  desire  of  immediate 
safety  could  be  any  inducement,  cheerfully  inaugurating  pro 
ceedings  by  turning  a  few  double  somersets,  regardless  as 
to  the  scientific  manner  he  executed  them,  or  the  laugh  of 
ridicule  that  might  be  offered  at'  his  expense;  and  if  he 
escaped  only  with  a  broken  limb  or  two,  and  a  first-class 
scare,  he  might  justly  consider  himself  most  fortunate.  But 
the  Choctaws  have  long  since  lost  that  interest  in  the  ball- 
play  that  they  formerly  cherished  in  their  old  homes  east  of 
the  Mississippi  River.  'Tis  true,  now  and  then,  even  at  the 
present  day,  they  indulge  in  the  time  honored  game,  but  the 
game  of  the  present  day  is  a  Lillipution — a  veritable  pygmy- 
in  comparison  with  the  grand  old  game  of  three  quarters  of 
a  century  ago;  nor  will  it  be  many  years  ere  it  will  be  said  of 
the  Choctaw  tohli,  as  of  ancient  Troy — ''Ilium  fuit." 

To  any  one  of  the  present  day,  an  ancieW  Choctaw  ball- 
play  would  be  an  exhibition*  far  more  interesting,  strange, 
wild  and  romantic,  in  all  i.ts  features,  than  anything  ever  ex 
hibited  in  a  circus  from  first  to  last — excelling  it  in  every 
particular  of  daring  feats  and  wild  recklessness.  In  the 
ancient  ball-play,  the  activity,  fleetness,  strength  and  endur* 
ance  of  the  Mississippi  Choctaw  warrior  and  hunter,  were 
more  fully  exemplified  than  anywhere  else;  for  there  he 
brought  into  the  most  severe  action  every  power  of  soul  and 
body.  In  those  ancient  ball-plays,  I  have  known  villages  tc 
lose  all  their  earthly  possessions  upon  the  jssue  of  a  single 
play.  Yet,  they  bore  their  misfortune  with  becoming  grace 
,and  philosophic  indifference  and  appeared  as  gay  and  cheer 
ful  as  if  nothing  oi  importance  had  occurred.  The  educa 
tion  of  the  ancient  Choctaw  warrior  and  hunter  consisted 
mainly  in  the  frequency  of  these  muscular  exercises  whicl 
enabled  him  to  endure  hunger,  thirst  and  fatigue;  henc( 
they  often  indulged  in  protracted  fastings,  frequent  foot 


races,  trials  of   bodily   strength,   introductions   to   the   war 
path,  the  chase  and  their  favorite  Tolih. 

They  also  indulged  in  another  game  in  which  they  took 
great  delight,  called  Ulth  Chuppih,  in  which  but  two  players 
could  engage  at  the  same  time;  but  upon  the  result  of  which, 
.as  in  the  Tolih,  they  frequently  bet  their  little  all.  An  alley, 
with  a  hard  smooth  surface  and  about  two  hundred  feet  long, 
was  made  upon  the  ground.  The  two  players  took  a  posi 
tion  at  the  upper  end  at  which  they  were  to  commence  tjae 
game,  each  having  in  his  hand  a  smooth,  tapering  pole  eight 
or  ten  feet  long  flattened  at  the  ends.  A  smooth  round  stone 
of  several  inches  in  circumference  was  then  brought  into 
the  arena;  as  soon  as  .both  were  ready,  No.  1  took  the  stone 
and  rolled  it  with  all  his  strength  down  the  narrow  inclined 
plane  of  the  smooth  alley;  and  after  which  both  instantly 
staged  wit^i  their  utmost  speed.  Soon  No.  2,  threw  his  pole 
at  the  rolling  stone;  instantly  No.  1,  threw  his  at  the  flying 
pole  of  rNo.  2,  aiming  to  hit  it,  and,  by  so  doing,  change  its 
course  from  the  rolling  stone.  If  No.  2  hits  the  stone,  he 
counts  one;  but  if  No.  1  prevents  it  by  hitting  the  pole  of 
No,  2,  he  then  counts  one;  and  he,  who  hits  his  object  the 
greater  number  of  times  in  eleven  rollings  of  the  stone,  was 
the  winner.  It  was  a  more  difficult  matter  to  hit  either  the 
narrow  edge  of  the  rolling  stone,  or  the  flying  pole,  than 
would  be  at  first  imagined.  However,  the  ancient  Chahtah 
Ulte  Chupih  may  come  in  at  least  as  a  worthy  competitor  with 
the  pale-face  Teii-pin-alley,  for  the  disputed  right  of  being 
the  more  dignified  amusement. 

Judge  Julius  Folsom  of  Atoka,  Indian  Territory,  inform 
ed  me  that  a  friend  of  his,  -Isaac  McClure,  found  an  Ulth 
Chuppih  ball  in  a  mound  near  Skullyville,  Choctaw  Nation, 
Indian  Territory,  and  not  knowing  what  it  was,  brought  it  to 
him  for  information.  This  proves  that  the  Indians  who 
occupied' the  territory  prior  to  the  Choctaws  also  indulged  in 
the  game  of  Ulth  Chuppih. 

The  following  was  furnished  me  by  my  learned  friend 
H.  S.  Halbert,  of  Mississippi,  a  genuine  philanthropist  and 
true  friend  to,  the  North  American  Indian  race: 

'/The  Great  Ball  Play  and  Fight  on  Noxubee"  (a  cor 
ruption  of  the  Choctaw  word  Nakshobih,  a  peculiarly. offen 
sive  odor),  between  the  Creeks  and  Choctaws. 

"In  the  fall  of  1836,  there  died  in  the  "southern  part  of 
Noxubee  county  an  aged  Indian  warrior  named  Stonie  Hadjo. 
This  old  ludian  had  resided  in  the  county  for  years  and'  was 
very  popular  with  the  pioneers,  who  regarded  him  as  an  up 
right  and  truthful  man.  He  was  a  Creek  by  birth,  a  Choc 
taw  by  adoption.  This  old  warrior  would  often  tell  of  a 


great  ball  play  and  fight  which  occurred  between  the  Creeks 
and  Choctaws  in  Noxubee  county.  This  event,  from  date 
given  by  him,  must  have  occurred  about  the  year  1790. 

"On  Noxubee  river  there  was  anciently  a  large  beaver 
pond,  about  which  the  Creeks  and  Choctaws  had  a  violent 
dispute.  The  Creeks  claimed  it  by  priority  of  discovery, 
while  the  Choctaws  asserted  their  right  to  it  because  it  lay 
in  their  own  territory.  As  the  fur  trade  at  Mobile  and  Pen- 
sacola,  (corruption  of  the  Choctaw  words  puska  okla,  bread 
people,  then  small  places,  but  the  main  points  of  trade  for 
the  southern  Indians)  was  lucrative,  each  party  was  loath  to 
renounce  the  right  to  the  beavers.  The  two  Nations  finally 
agreed  to  settle  the  matter  by  a  ball-play.  A  given  number 
of  the  best  players  were  accordingly  selected  from  each 
Nation,  who  were  to  decide,  by  the  result  of  the  game,  to 
which  Nation,  the  exclusive  right  to  the  beaver  pond  should 
belong.  Great  preparations  were  made  by  each  party  for 
this  important  event.  They  commenced  preparing  on  the 
new  moon  and  it  took  them  two  whole  inoons  and  until  the 
full  of  the  third  to  complete  preparations.  Great  quantities 
-of  provisions  had  to  be  procured,  and  the  ball  players  had  to 
subject  themselves  meanwhile  to  the  usual  requirement  of 
practice,  the  athletic  exercises  customary  on  such  occa 

"Finally  the  day  came,  and  Stonie  Hadjo  said  that  there 
were  ten  thousand  Indians,  Creeks  and  Choctaws,  camped 
around  the  ball  ground  on  Noxubee  river.  The  Creek  Chief 
who  held  the  highest  command,  after  seemg  his  people 
properly  encamped  left  to  pay  a  visit  of  ceremony  to  great 
Chief  of  the  Choctaws,  who  lived  at  some  distantance.  Stonie 
Hadjo-give  the  names  of  those  two  chiefs,  but  these  names 
cannot  now  be  recalled."  (If  I  mistake/ not,  the  Choctaw 
Chief  was  Himakubih,  now  to  kill).  "Every  thing  being  now 
ready  the  play  commenced,  and  it  was  admitted  on  all  sides 
to  have  been  the  closest  and  most  evenly  matched  game  ever 
witnessed  by  either  nation.  Fortune  vascillated  from  Creek 
to  Choctaws  and  then  from  Choctaw  to  Creek.  At  last,  it 
was  a  tied  game,  both  parties  standing  even.  One  more 
game  remained  to  be  played  which  would  decide  the  contest. 
Then  occurred  a  long  and  terrible  struggle  lasting  for  four 
hours.  Every  Creek  and  every  Choctaw  strained  himself  to 
his  utmost  bent.  Finally  after  prodigious  feats  of  strengh 
and  agility  displayed  on  both  sides,  fortune  at  last  declared  in 
favor  of  the  Creeks.  The  victors  immediately  began  to 
.shout  and  sing!  The.  Choctaws  were  greatly  humiliated. 
At  length  a  high  spirited  Choctaw  player,  unable  longer  to 
•  endure  the  exultant  shouts  of  the  victorious  party,  made  an 


nsulting  remark  to  a  Creek  player.  (Who,  in  retaliation, 
Choctaws  state,  threw  a  petticoat  on  the  Choctaw — the 
the  greatest  insult  that  can  be  offered  to  an  Indian).  The 
latter  resente'd  it,  and  the  two  instantly  clutched  each  other 
in  deadly  combat.  The  contag-ion  spread,  and  a  general  fig-lit 
with  sticks,  knives,  guns,  tomahawks  and  bows  and  arrows, 
began  among1  the  ball  players.  Then  warriors  from  each 
tribe  commenced  joining  in  the  fight  until  all  were  engaged 
in  bloody  strife. 

"The  fight  continued  from  an  hour  by  the  sun  in  the 
evening-  with  but  little  intermission  during  the  night,  until 
two  hours  by  the  sun  the  next  morning.  At  this  juncture 
the.  great  chiefs  of  the  Creeks  and  the  Choctaws  arrived  upon 
the  ground  and  at  on'ce  put  a  stop  to  the  combat,  runners- 
having  been  dispatched  at  the  beginning  of  the  fight  to  these 
two  leaders  to  inform  them  of  the  affair.  The  combatants 
upon  desisting  from  the  fight,  spent  the  remainder  of  the 
day  in  taking  care  of  the  wounded;  the  women  watching  over 
the  dead,  The  next" day  the  dead  were  buried;  their  money, 
silver  ornaments,  and  dther  articles  of  value  being  deposited 
with  them  in  their  graves.  The  third  day  a  council  convened. 
The  Creek  and  the  Choctaw  chiefs  made  "talks"  expressing 
their  regrets  that  their  people  should  have  given  way  to 
such  a  wild  storm  of  passion  resulting  in  the  death  of  so 
many  brave  warriors.  There  was  no  war  or  cause  for  war 
between  the  two  Nations  and  they  counciled  that  all  forget 
the  unhappy  strife,  make  peace  and  be  friends  as  before.. 
This  advice  was  heeded.  The  pipe  of  peace  was  smoked, 
all  shook  hands  and  departed  to  their  homes.. 

"Stonie  Hadjo  stated  that  five  hundred  warriors  were 
killed  outright  in  this  fight  and  that  a  great  many  of  the 
wounded  afterward  died.  The  Creeks  and  Choctaws  had  had 
several  wars  with  each  other,  had  fought  many  bloody  bat 
tles,  but  that  no  battle  was  so  disastrous  as  this  fight  at  the 
ball  ground.  For  many  long  years  the  Creeks  and  Choc 
taws  looked  back  to  this  event  with  emotions  of  terror  and 
sorrow.  For  here,  their  picked  men,  their  ball  players, 
,  who  were  the  flower  of  the  two  Nations,  almost  to  a  man 
perished.  Scarcely  was  there  a  Creek  or  Choctaw  family, 
but  had  to  mourn  the  death  of  some  kinsman  slain.  For 
several  years  the  Creeks  made  annual  pilgrimages  to  this 
ball  ground  to  weep  over  the  graves  of  their  dead.  The 
Choctaws  kept  up  thi*  Indian  custom  much  long-dr.  Even 
down  to  the  time  of  their  emigration  in  1832  they  had  not 
ceased  to  make  similar  lamentations. 

"After  the  fight,  by  tacit  consent,   the    beaver  pond  was. 
left  in  the  undisputed  possession  of  the   Choctaws;    but   it  is- 


said  that  soon  afterwards,  the  beaver  entirely  abandoned  the 
pond.  According  to  Indian  superstition,  their  departure 
was  supposed  to  have  some  connection  with  the  unfortunate 

"In  1832,  a  man  named  Charles  Dobbs  settled  on  this  ball 
and  battle  ground .  Stonie  Hadjo,  who  was  then  living-  in 
the  vicinity  ^pointed  out  to  him  many  of  the  graves,  where 
in  money  and  other  valuables  were  buried.  Dobbs  dug- 
down  and  recovered  about  five  hundred  dollars  in  silver,  and 
about  two  hundred  and  fifty  dollars'  worth  of  silver  orna 

"This  ground  is  situated  on  the  eastern  banks  of  Noxu- 
bee  river,  about  five  miles  west  of  Cooksville  and  about  two 
hundred  yards  north  of  where  Shuqualak(corruption  of  Shoh- 
pakalih, Sparkling,)  creek  empties  into  Noxubee.  The  beaver 
pond,  now  drained  and  in  cultivation,  is  situated  on  the 
western,  bank  of  Noxubee,  about  half  a  mile  north  of  the 

Frequently  disputes  between  the  ancient  Choctaws  and 
Muscogees  arose  as  a  result  of  a  ball-play,  'but  which  too 
frequently  terminated  in  a  fearful  fight,  followed  by  a  pro 
tracted  war.  My  friend,  H.  S.  Halbert,  informed  me  by 
letter,  of  another',  which  was  told  to  him  by  an  aged  Choctaw 
who  remained  in  Missisippi  with  others  at  the  time  of  the 
Choctaw  exodus  in  1832.  Is  is  as  follows: 

"The  war  in  1800  between  the  Choctaws  and  Creeks  had 
its  origin  in  a  dispute  about  the  territory  between  the  Tom- 
bigbee  and  Black  Warrior  rivers,  which  both  Nations  claim 
ed.  It  was  finally  agreed  to  settle  the  matter  by  a  ball-play. 
The  play  occurred  on  the  west  bank  of  the  Black  Warrior,  a 
mile  below  Tuscaloosa.  The  Creek  chief  was  named  Tus- 
keegee,  the  Choctaw,  L/uee,  (corruption  of  La  wih,  being 
equal).  Both  parties  claimed  the  victory.  A  violent  dispute 
arose  which  resulted  in  a  call  to  arms  followed  by  a  furious 
battle  in  which  many  were  killed  and  wounded  on  both  sides, 
but  the  Choctaws  were  victorious.  This  occurred  in  the 
spring.  The  Choctaws  after  the  fight  withdrew  to  their 
homes.  The  Creeks,  stung  by  defeat,  invaded  xthe  Choctaw 
Nation  in  the  ensuing  fall  under  Tuskeegee  and  fought  the 
second  battle  in  the  now  Noxubee  county,  in  which  the 
Creeks  were  victorious.  Luee  again  commanded  the  Choc 
taws."  But  the  Choctaws  being  reinforced,- another  battle 
was  soon  after  fought  in  which  the  Choctaws  under  Himar- 
kubih,  were  victorious  and  drove  the  Creeks  out  of  their 
country.  I  have  been  told  that  previous  to  our  civil  war  the 
trees  still  showed  signs  of  the  ancient  conflict. 

The  Choctaws,  at  the  time  of  their  earliest  acquaintance 


with  the  European  races,  possessed,,  in  conjunction  with  all 
their  race  of  the  North  American  Continent,  a  vague,  but  to 
a  great  extent,  correct  knowledge  of  the  Oka  Falama,  "The 
returning-  waters,"  as  they  termed  it — The  Flood/ 

The  Rev.  Cyrus  Byington  related  a  little  incident,  as  one 
out  of  many  interesting-  and  pleasing-  ones  that  frequently 
occurred  when  traveling-  throug-h  their  country  from  one 
point  to  another  in  the  discharge  of  his  ministerial  duties, 
over  seventy  years  ago.  At  one  time  he  found  night  fast 
approaching  without  any  visible  prospect  of  finding  a  place 
of  shelter  for  the  night,  safe  from  the  denizens  of  the  wilder 
ness  through  which  his  devious^  path  was  leading  him.  Then 
and  there  roads  were  unknown  and  paths  alone  led  the  trav 
eler  from  place  to  place.  Soon,  however,  he  discovered  an 
humble  cabin  a  few  hundred  yards  distant,  directly  to  which 
the  little  path  was  leading  him,  and  which  he  readily  recog 
nized  as  the  home  of  a  Choctaw  hunter.  Several  little  chil 
dren  were  engaged  in  their  juvenile  sports  near  the  house, 
who,  upon  seeing  the  .white  stranger  approaching,  made  a 
precipitate  retreat  into  the  house.  The  mother  hastened  to 
the  door  to  learn,  the  cause  of  the  alarm — saw,  gazed  a 
moment,  and  then  as  suddenly  disappeared.  As  Mr.  Bying- 
ton  rode  up,  he  observed  an  Indian  man  sitting  before  the 
door,  whose  appearance  betokened  his  experience  in  the  vi 
cissitudes  of  life  to  have  reached  four  score  years  or  more, 
who  cheerfully  extended  the  hospitality  of  his  humble  home 
to  the  solitary  and  wayworn  stranger. 

But  nothing  strange  in  this,  for  who  ever  heard  of  an 
American  Indian  refusing  the  hospitality  of  his  cabin,  how 
ever  so  humble,  to  a  passing  stranger?  Soon  Mr.  Byington 
was  also  seated  before  the  cabin  door  near  the  aged  Choctaw, 
and  very  naturally  took  a  survey  of  the  surroundings.  It  was 
a  cloudless  eve  in  May,  1825.  The  calm  beautiful  day  was 
j,ust  drawing  to  a  close  and  the  slanting  sunbeam  fell  in  a 
dreamy  sort  of  indolent  beauty  upon  the  delicate  shrubbery 
Beneath  the  majestic  trees  that  towered  above  in  stately 
grandeur  dangling  with  their  branches  in  a  careless  radiance 
and  throwing  upon  them  such  gorgeous  tints,  as  they  alone 
can  bestow  at  the  last  moment  of  their  departing  glory.  Far 
away  before  the  admiring  gaze  of  the  humble  missionary, 
stretched  a  gently  undulating  plain  which  seemed  to  extend 
beyond  the  sunbeams  into  the  gray  twilight  of  the  distant 
east.  Here  and  there  dense  masses  of  foliage  on  the  north, 
south  and  west,  deepening  and  darkening  into  increasing 
depths  of  shade,  blended  so  imperceptibly  with  the  out 
stretching  shadows  which  they  cast,  that  it  was  difficult  to 
tell  where  the  reality  ceased  and  the  shadow  began.  Various 


kinds  of  birds  were  now  flocking  from  the  c>pen  plain  into 
the  recesses  of  the  dark  foliage  of  the  surrounding  trees, 
and,  with  noisy  twitterings  seemed  disputing  for  the  occu 
pancy  of  their  favorite  roosting  .place  upon  some  selected 
twig;  lovely  flowers  of  variegated  hue  filled  the  air  with 
sweetest  perfume,  rendering  it  a  luxury  to  breathe;  while 
here  and  there  little  groups  of  cattle  and  horses  lazily  crop 
ped  the  new  and  tender  grass  or  idly  lay  upon  its  soft  caf-pet, 
which  now  covered  the  ground  with  living  green.  The  aged 
warrior,  true  to  his~nature,  had  sought  his  cabin  door  that, 
undisturbed,  he  might  look  upon  the  scene  that  stretched  in 
a  wild  panorama  of  beauty  before  his  appreciative  and  admir 
ing  gaze.  Romantic  and  lovely  indeed  were  all  the  surround 
ings  of  that  forest  home,  so  truly  characteristic  of  the  Indian 
in  the  selection  of  his  abode.  The  old  warrior  and  hunter, 
ere  his  meditations  were  disturbed  by  the  coming  stranger, 
was,  no  doubt,  silently  and  attentively  listening  to  the  voice 
of  memory  calling  him  from  afar  off,  back  to  the  sunny  days 
of  early  youth,  while  his  ears  caught  other  cadences  that 
whispered  of  man-hood's  strength,  when,  untrammeled 
by  the  weight  of  years,  he  roamed  o'er  his  native  land, 
and,  with  eagle-eye  and,  nimble-foot,  pursued  his  game, 
or,  with  stealthy  step,  followed  the  war-path  in  its  dubious 
windings  through  the  distant  country  of  his  foes.  But  to 
the  cultivated  mind  of  the  man  of  God,  who  now  sat  by  his 
side  and  also  viewed  the  glories  of  the  scene,  how  different 
the  emoti'ons  awakened  !  His  thoughts  arose  from, Nature's 
beauties  to  the  sublimities  and  glories  of  Nature's  God.  For 
it -was  the  place  and  hour  to  enter  Nature's  sacred  temple 
and  there  commune  with  her  in  her  own  mystic  language; 
to  see  the  beautiful  where  others  see  it  not;  to  hear  anthems 
that  whisper  to  man  of  hope  and  joy'  in  the  diapason  of  the 
gentle  zepyrs,  making  the  appreciative  heart  thankful  to  be 
alive;  while  pitying  the  dwellers  in  crowded  cities  who  never 
see  or  enjoy  aught  like  this. 

After  an  exchange  of  a  few  words,  and  the  aged  man 
had  learned  who  his  guest  was,  for  he  had  heard  of  the  good 
missionaries,  mutual  confidence  was  at  once  established  be 
tween  the  two;  especially  as  the  stranger  was  conversant,  to 
some  extent,  in  his  native  Choctaw  tongue.  During  the  con 
versation  of  the  evening,  the  good  missionary,  true  to  his 
trust,  narrated  to  his  aged  host  the  story  of  the  Cross,  with 
all  its  interesting  bearings,  and  in  conclusion  set  forth,  with 
much  eloquence,  the  importance  and  necessity  of  his  host's 
immediate  attention  to  the  things  that  appertained  to  his  in 
terests  beyond  the  sphere  of  time;  to  all  of  which  the  old 
man  listened  in  profound  silence,  and  with  the  deepest  inter- 


est  and  attention;  then  rising-  from  his  seat  and  taking-  Mr, 
By  ing-ton  by  the  hand  and  leading-  him  to  the  corner  of  the 
little  cabin  where  the  setting-  sun  could  be  seen  in  full  view, 
he  pointed  to  it  and  said:  "Your  talk  is,  no  doubt,  true  and 
good,  but  it  is  strange  and  dark  to  me.  See  yonder  is  the 
sun.(5f  my  life;  it  but  ling-ers  upon  the  western  sky.  It  is 
now  too  late  for  me  to  follow  your  new  and  strang-e  words. 
Let  me  continue  in  the  path  I  long-  have  walked,  and  in  which, 
my  fathers  before  me  trod;  the  Great  Spirit  tells  me,  it  will, 
lead  me  to  the  happy  hunting-  grounds  of  the  Indian,  and  that 
is  sufficient  for  me."  And  who  can  say  it  was  not?  With 
unshaken  faith  he  believed  the  Great  Spirit  would  take  him 
at  the  hour  of  death  to  the  happy  hunting-  ground — the  heav 
en  of  the  Indian,  the  only  one  of  which  he  had  ever  heard. 
Then  pointing-  to  his  children  and  grand-children,  he  contin 
ued:  "Tell  your  new  talk  to  them  and  to  my  young-  people. 
They  have  time  to  consider  it.  If  it  is  a  better  way  to  the 
happy  hunting-  grounds  than  the  Indian's,  teach  them  to 
walk  In  it,  but  persuade  me  not  to  now  forsake  my  long- 
known  path,  for  one  unknown  and  so  strange  to  me."  Mr. 
Byington,'  deeply  interested  in  his  ag-ed  friend,  related,  in 
connection  with  other  Bible  truths,  the  account  of  the  flood. 
Instantly  the  old  veteran's  countenance  brig-htened  up,  and 
with  a  smile  of  self-confidence  said:  "You  no  longer  talk 
mysteries.  I  know  now  of  what  you  speak.  Mv  father  told 
me  when  a  boy  of  the  Oka  Falama."  Mr.  Bying-ton  then 
asked  him,  if  he  knew  how  long  since  it  occurred.  The  old 
veteran,  with  an  air  of  injured  innocence,  by  the  doubt  ex 
pressed  in  the  question  of  his  veracity  for  truth,  stooping, 
filled  both  hands  with  sand,  then,  with  an  expression  of  tri 
umphal  confidence,  said:  "As  many  seasons  of  snow  ago, 
as  I  hold  grains  of  sand  in  my  hand .  " 

During  the  fall  of  1887,  I  was  boarding  at  a  Choctaw 
friend's  in  the  territory,  a  man  of  noble  characteristics,  and 
one  day  related  to  him  the  above  incident.  I  was  struck  with 
his  remark.  As  I  closed,  he  said  in  a  slow  and  mournful 
tone  of  voice;  "Ever  thinking  of  the  good  of  their  people, — 
the  young  and  rising  generations  coming  after  them."  I 
asked  a  more  explicit  explanation.  He  replied;  "The  aged 
men  of  my  people  always  expressed  more  concern  for  the 
welfare  of  the  young  than  they  did  for  themselves.  That 
old  Choctaw,  of  whom  you  have  just  spoken,  seemed  to  re 
alize  that  it  was  too  late  for  him  to  be  benefitted  by -the  teach 
ings  of  the  good  white  man,  but  still  was  anxious  for  him  to 
do  all  the  good  he  could  for  the  young  and  rising  generation  of 
his  Nation.  Why  is  the  Indian  so  traduced  by  the  white 
man?  Has  my  race  no  redeeming  traits?"  Shame  for  my 


own  race  hushed  me  to  silence,  and -I  made  no  reply,  as  he 
arose  and  quietly  left  my  room — and  me  to  my  unpleasant 

The  Choctaw  hunter  was  famous  as  a  strategist  when 
hunting-  alone  in  the  woods;  and  was  such  an  expert  in  the 
art  of  exactly  imitating-  the  cries  of  the  various  animals  of 
the  forests,  that  he  would  deceive  the  ear  of  the  most  expe 
rienced.  They  made  a  very  ing-eniously  constructed  instru 
ment  for  calling  deer  to  them,  in  the  use  of  which  they  were 
very  expert;  and  in  connection  with  this,  they  used  a  decoy 
made  by  cutting  the  skin  clear  round  the  neck,  about  ten 
inches  from  the  head  of  a  slain  buck  having  huge  horns,  and 
then  stuffing  the  skin  in  one  entire  section  up  to  the  head 
and  cutting  off  the  neck  where  it  joins  the  head.  The  skin, 
thus  made  hollow  from  the  head  back,  is  kept  in  its  natural 
position  by  inserting  upright  sticks;  the  skin  is  then  pulled 
upwards  from  the  nose  to  the  horns  and  all  the  flesh  and 
brains  removed;  then  the  skin  is  repulled  to  its  natural  place 
and  laid  away  to  dry.  In  a  year  it  has  become  dry;  hard  and 
inoffensive,  and  fit  for  use.  All  the  upright  sticks  are  then 
taken  out  except  the  one  next  to  the  head,  which  is  left  as  a 
hand-hold.  Thus  the  hunter,  with  his  deer-caller  and  head 
decoy,  easily  enticed  his  game  within  the  range  of  his  deadly 
rifle;  for,  secreting  himself  in  the  woods,  he  commenced  to 
Imitate  the  bleating  of  a  deer;  if  within  hearing  distance,  one 
soon  responds;  but,  perhaps,  catching  the  scent  of  the 
hunter,  stops  and  begins  to  look  around.  The  hunter  now 
•  inserts  his  arm  into  the  cavity  of  the  decoy  and  taking  hold 
of  the  upright  stick  within,  easily  held  it  up  to  view,-  and  at 
tracted  the  attention  of  the  doubting  deer  by  rubbing  it 
against  the  bushes  or  a  tree;  seeing  which,  the  then  m 
longer  suspicious  deer  advanced,  and  only  learned  its  mis 
take  by  the  sharp  crack  of  the  rifle  and  the  deadly  bullet. 

The  antlers  of  some  of  the  bucks  grew  to  a  wonderful 
size,  which  were  shed  off  every  February,  or  rather  pushec 
off  by  the  forthcoming  new  horns,  a  singularly  strangt 
freak  of  nature,  yet  no  less  true.  There  was  also  a  strangt 
and  ancient  tradition  among  the  Choctaw  and  Chickasav 
hunters,  before  their  exodus  to  their  present  place  of  abode 
that,  as  soon  the  horns  dropped  off,  the  buck  at  once  PAWED  ; 
hole  in  the  ground  with  his  feet  (it  being  (always  soft  durim 
the  season  of  shedding,  from  the  frequent  rains)  into  whicl 
he  pushed  the  fallen  horns  and  carefully  covered  them  up 
This  may  seem  fabulous,  yet  there  are  good  grounds  upoi 
which  to  establish,  at  leas"t  a  probability,  if  not  its  truth, 
have  heard  of  white  hunters  who  had  been  attracted  by  th 
appearance  of  something  .being  freshly  covered  up,  with  th 


tracks  of  deer  alone  at  and  around  the  spot,  and,  upon  dig 
ging  down,  have  found  the  horns  of  a  deer.  In  many  hunts 
in  the  forest  of  Mississippi,  during  many  years,  where  the 
deer  almost  filled  the  woods,  I  have  never  seen  a  deer  horn 
except  those  attached  to  a  skull — left  in  the  woods  by  the 
hunter,  or  those  of  a  buck  that  had  died  a  natural  death. 
The  forests  were  burnt  off  the  latter  part  of  every  March, 
and  thus  the  ground,  was  entirely  naked  and  a  deer's  horn,  if 
above  ground,  could  have  been  seen  a  hundred  yards  distant,, 
but  they  were  not  seen.  The  fires  of  the  forest  were  not  hot 
enough  to  burn  them.  Now  what  became  of  them  if  not 
buried  by  the  bucks,  as  hundreds  were  shed  yearly? 

The  Choctaw  warrior  was  equally  as  expert  in  deceiving 
his  enemy  as  he  was  in  that  of  the  wild  denizens  of  his  native 
forests.  When  upon  the  war-path  the  Choctaws  always 
went  in  small  bands,  which  was  the  universal  custom  of  their 
entire  race,  traveling  one  behind  the  other  in  a  straight  line; 
and,  if  in  the  enemy's  territory  each  one  stepped  exactly  in 
the  tracks  of  the  one. who  walked  before  him,  while  the  one 
in  the  extreme  rear  defaced,  as  much  as  possible,  their 
tracks,  that  no  evidence  of  their  number,  or  whereabouts 
might  be  made  known  to  the  enemy.  In  these  war  excur 
sions,  the  most  profound  silence  was  observed;  their  com 
munications  being  carried  on  by  preconcerted  and  well  un 
derstood  signs  made  by  the  hand  or  head;  if  necessary  to 
be  audible,  then  by  a  low  imitative  cry  of  some  particular 
wild  animal. 

The  dignity  of  chieftainship  was  bestowed  upon  him 
who  had  proved  himself  worthy  by  his  skill  and  daring  deeds 
in  war;  and  to  preserve  the  valiant  character  of  their  chief, 
it  was  considered  a  disgrace  for  him  to  be  surpassed  in. dar 
ing  deeds  by  any  of  his  warriors;  at  the  same  time,  it  was 
also  regarded  as  dishonorable  for  the  warriors  to  be  sur 
passed  by  their  chief.  Tnus  there  were  great  motives  for 
both  to  perform  desperate  deeds  of  valor — which  they  did; 
nor  did  they  wait  for  opportunities  for  the  display  of  hero 
ism,  but  sought  perils  and  toils  by  which  they  might  distin 
guish  themselves.  These  war  parties,  gliding  noiselessly 
like  Spectres  through  the  dense  forests,  painted  in  the  most 
fantastic  manner  conceivable,  presented  a  wild  and  fearful 
appearance,  more  calculated  to  strike  terror  to  the  heart  of 
the  beholder  than  admiration.  Though  they  advanced  in  small 
bodies  and  detached  parties,  yet  in  their  retreats  they  scat 
tered  like  frightened  partridges,  each  for  himself,  but  to 
unite  again  at  a  pre-arranged  place  miles  to  the  rear.  No 
gaudy  display  was  ever  made  in  their  war  excursions  to 
their  enemy's  country.  They  meant  business,  not  display, 


depending*  on  the  success  of  their  expedition  in  their  silent 
and  unexpected  approach,  patient  watching-,  and  artful  strata 
gems.  To  fight  a  pitched  battle  in  an  open  field  giving  the 
enemy  an  equal  chance,  was  to  the  Choctaws  the  best  evi 
dence  of  a  want  of  military  skill.  But  unlike  most  of  their 
race,  they  seldom  invaded  an  enemy's  territory  from  choice; 
but  woe  to  the  enemy,  who  attributing-  this  to  cowardice, 
should  have  the  presumption  to  invade  their  country;  like 
enraged  bears  robbed  of  their  young-,  they  would  find  the 
Choctaw  warriors,  to  a  man,  ready  to  repel  them  with  the  most 
desperate  and  fearless  bravery  ever  exhibited  by  any  race 
of  men.  Yet,  to  them,  no  less  than  to  the  whites,  strategy 
was  commendable,  and  to  outwit  an  enemy  and  'thus  gain 
an  advantag-e  over  him,  was  evidence  of  great  and  praise* 
worthy  skill. 

DUELS. — The  duelist,  according  to  the  white  man's  code 
of  honor,  was  regarded  by  the  Choctaws  with  utmost  con* 
tempt,  the  fool  above  all  fools;  and  in  this,  manifesting  much 
better  sense  than  the  white  man  with  all  his  boasted  idea  of 
honor.  That  a  man  would  stand  up  openly  before  his  enemy 
to  be  shot  at  with  the  opportunity  of  getting  an  open  shot  at 
him,  was  a  code  of  honor  beyond  their  comprehension,  a  piece 
of  nonsense  in  the  indulgence  of  which  a  Choctaw  could  not 
be  guilty. 

I  did  once  hear,  however,  of  a  young  Choctaw  warrior  ac 
cepting  a  chellenge  from  a  white  man  in  their  nation  east  of 
the  Mississippi  river.  A  white  man,  who  had  been  living  in 
one  of  their,  villages  for  several  months,  taking  offense  at 
something  a  young  warrior  had  done,  and  well-knowing  the 
repugnance  with  which  the  Choctaws  regarded  the  white 
man's  code  of  honor,  thought  it  a  proper  time  to  impress 
them  with  the  belief  that  he  was  very  brave,  since  he  had  but 
little  to  fear  that  he  would  be  called  upon  to  put  it  to  the  test; 
therefore,  gave  him  a  verbal  challenge,  in  the  presence  of 
many  other  Choctaw  warriors,  to  fight  him  a  duel  accord 
ing  to  the  white  man's  code;  and  to  impress  upon  the 
minds  of  the  by-standers  that  where  there  was  so  much 
bravery,  there  must  be  a  proportional  amount  of  honor,  the 
heroic  challenger  informed  the  young  Choctaw  that,  as  he 
was  the  challenged  party,  the  white  man's  code  of  honor 
nobly  awarded  to  him  the  choice  of  weapons,  time  and  place. 
To  all  of  which  the  young  Choctaw  listened  in  meditative  sil 
ence.  All  eyes  were  turned  upon  him  expecting  a  negative 
reply;  none  moro  so  than  the  "brave"  pale-face.  At  that  mo 
ment  he  sprang  to  his  feet  and  with  a  nimble  bound  placed  him 
self  directly  before  the  face,  and  within  a  few  feet  of  his  chal 
lenger,  and,  with  his  piercing  eyes  upon,  said  in  broken 


English,  "You  say,  me  hab  choice  of  weapon, time,  and  place, 
too?"  "Yes,"  responded  the  now  dubious  white  brave;  then 
looking  around  upon  all  with  a  determined  eye,  to  the  aston 
ishment  of  all,  the  challenger  by  no  means  excepted,  ex 
claimed  in  a  calm  tone  of  voice:  "Pale-face,  me  fight  you  to- 
marler  wid  rifle."  Then  turning  to  one  of  the  by-standers 
he  said:  "You  take  him"  (pointing  to  his  challenger)  "to- 
marler,  sun  so  high,"  (pointing  to  the  east)  one  mile  dis  way, 
put  him  behind  tree,  den  you  come  back."  Then  turning  to 
another,  continued:  "You  take  me  to-marler,  sun  same  so 
high"  (again  pointing  to  the  east)  "one  mile  dis  udder  way, 
put  me  beh,ind  tree,  too,  den  you  come  back."  Then  turning 
his  penetrating  black  eyes  fully  upon  the  then  astonished 
"man  of  honor,"  and  looking  him  straight  in  the  eyes,  said: 
"Pale— face,  you  hunt  me  to-marler,  and  me  hunt  you  to-mar 
ler;  you  see  me  first,  den  youshootme  first;  me  see  you  first, 
den  me  shoot  you  first."  The  pale-face  warrior,  quickly  con 
cluding  that  prudence  then  and  there  was  evidently  the  bet 
ter  part  of  valor,  wisely  declined  the  honor  with  all  the 
prospective  pleasure  of  the  morrow's  hunt;  to  the  great 
amusement  of  the  Choctaws,  who  by  their  continued  tantiliz- 
ing,  soon  drove  the  would-be  duellist  from  their  territory. 

Upon  this  subject,  I  here  quote  the  following  from  the 
pen  of  Rev.  Israel  Folsom,  a  Choctaw,  with  whom  I  was  per 
sonally  acquainted,  east  of  the  Mississippi  river,  and  kindly 
furnished  me  by  his  amiable  daughter,  Czarena,  now  Mrs. 
Robb,  a  noble  Christian  lady  living  in  Atoka  I.  T.  (from  Ai- 
a-tuk-ko,  a  protection  or  shield.) 

"They  had  duels  too;  but  they  were  quite  different  from 
any  that  has  been  practiced  by  anv  of  the  Indians  of  the  con 
tinent  or  the  whites;  and  which  most  commonly  proved  fatal 
to  both  parties.  When  a  quarrel  or  difficulty  occurred  be 
tween  two  warriors,  a  challenge  was  sent  by  one  to  the  other; 
not  to  meet  and  take  a  pop  at  each  other  with  pistols,  as  is 
the  case  in  civilized  and  refined  Nations,  but  in  reality,  it  was 
a  challenge  for  both  to  die.  It  was  understood  in  no  other 
way;  this  was  the  mode  of  trying  the  man's  bravery,  for 
they  believe  that  a  brave  man,  who  possesses  an  honest  and 
sincere  heart,  would  never  be  afraid  to  die:  It  was  usual  for 
each  one  to  select  his  own  friend  to  dispatch  him.  If  one 
should  back  out  from  the  challenge,  they  considered  it  as  a 
great  mark  of  cowardice  and  dishonesty  in  him,  and  he  would 
be  despised  by  his  relations  and  friends,  and  by  the  whole 
tribe.  If  a  challenge  was  given  and  accepted,  it* was  certain 
to  end  in  the  death  of  both  parties;  this  mode  of  deciding 
difficulties  had  a  strong  tendency  to  restrain  men  from 
quarreling  and  fighting  among  themselves,  for  fear  of  being 


challenged  and  consequenty  compelled  to  die,  or  forever  be 
branded  with  dishonesty  and  cowardice,  and  afterwards  live 
a  life  of  degradation  and  disgrace.  Hence,  it  was  a  common 
saying  among  them,  that  a  man  should  never  quarrel,  unless 
he  was  willing  to  be  challenged  and  to  die.  On  one  occasion 
a  sister  seeing  her  brother  about  to  baclr  out  from  a  chal- 
stepped  forward  and  boldly  offered  herself  to  die  in  his 
stead,  but  her  offer  was  not  accepted,  and  she  was  so  morti 
fied  at  her  brother's  want  of  courage  that  she  burst  into 

Thus  they  fought  the  duel:  When  one  Choctaw  chal 
lenged  another  the  challenge  was  given  verbally,  face  to  face, 
the  time  and  place  then  and  there  designated.  If  accepted 
(and  it  was  almost  certain  to  be)  the  two  went  to  the  place 
each  with  his  second.  The  two  combatants  then  took  their 
places  unarmed  about  twenty  feet  apart,  each  with  a  second 
at  his  right  side  with  a  rifle  in  hand.  At  a  given  signal  each 
second  shot  the  combatant  standing  before  him.  That 
closed  the  scene.  Each  had  proven  himself  a  Tush-ka  Siah; 
(warrior  I  am)  and  that  was  satisfactory  to  all. 

To  have  it  said,  "he  died  bravely,"  was  the  highest  am- 
"bition  of  the  Choctaw  warrior,  and  thus  it  is  even  to  the 
present  day.  He  regards  death  as  merely  a  transmigration 
to  the  happy  hunting-ground,  to  which  many  of  his  friends 
had  already  gone.  His  rifle,  so  long  his  boon  companion  and 
trusty  friend,  together  with  his  tomahawk,  knife  and  tobacco, 
he  only  required  to  be  deposited  in  the  grave  by  his  side  as 
all  the  requisites  necessary  for  him,  when  he  arrived  at  the 
land  of  abundant  game  to  resume  the  sports  of  the  chase; 
frequentlv  a  little  corn  and  venison  were  also  placed  in  the 
grave,  by  the  hand  of  maternal  fore-sight  and  love,  that  her 
warrior  boy  might  not  hunger  during  his  long  journey. 

There  was  a  peculiar  custom  among  the  ancient  Choc- 
taws,  prior  to  1818,  which,  according  to  tradition,  was  as 
follows:  For  many  years  after  the  marriage  of  her  daughter, 
the  mpther-in-law  was  forbidden  to  look  upon  her  son-in-law. 
Though  they  might  converse  together,  they  must  be  hidden 
the  one  from  the  other  by  some  kind  of  a  screen,  and  when 
nothing  else  offered,  by  covering  her  eyes.  Thus  the  mother- 
in-law  was  put  to  infinite  trouble  and  vexation  least  she 
should  make  an  infraction  upon  the  strange  custom;  since, 
when  travelling  or  in  camp  often  without  tents,  they  were 
necessarily  afraid  to  raise  their  heads,  or  open  their  eyes 
through  fear  of  seeing  the  interdicted  object. 

Another  peculiarity,  which,  howeyer.  they  possessed  in 
common  with  other  tribes,  was,  the  Choctaw  wife  never 
called  her  husband  by  name.  But  addressed  him  as  "my  son 


or  daughter's  father;"  or  more  commonly  using-  the  child's 
name,  when  if  Shah-bi-chih,  (meaning-,  to  make  empty,  the 
real  name  of  a  Choctaw  whom  I  know)  for  instance,  she 
she  calls'  her  husband  "Shah-bi-chih 's  father."  Another 
oddity  in  regard  to  names  was,  the  ancient  Choctaw  warriors 
seemed  to  have  a  strange  aversion  to  telling  their  own  names,- 
and  it  was  impossible  to  get  it  unless  he  had  an  acquaintance 
present,  whom  he  requested  to  tell  it  for  him. 

manifested  sorrow  and  wailing  over  the  graves  of  their  dead 
were  affecting  in  the  extreme — truly  bordering  on  the  sub 
lime  in  their  severe  simplicity;  and  had  the  Indian  character 
istics  been  rightly  understood,  and  the  nature  of  their 
lamentations  justly  comprehended  by  the  whites,  their  an 
cient  "Yayahs"  might  well  have  been  compared  to  the  com 
plaints  of  the  mother  of  Euriauls,  in  the  ^Enead:  the  same 
passionate  expressions  of  deep  sorrow,  and  the  same  ex 
travagance  of  grief,  whose  aif ecting  tones  sank  deep  into  the 
inexperienced  heart.  For  twelve  months,  at  various  inter 
vals,  the  women  repaired  to  the  grave  of  the  last  deceased 
relative  or  friend  there  to  weep  and  express  their  unassum- 
ed,  heart-felt  griefs  to  the  memory  of  the  dead,  loved  in  life 
and  lamented  in  death,  thus  manifesting  the  tender  sensi 
bility  of  the  Indian  female.  And  though  those  tender  and 
affecting  exhibitions  of  affection  may  be  regarded  by  the 
arrogant  whites  as 'having  their  origin  in  ignorance,  super 
stition  and  error,  yet  how  hard  that  heart  must  be  that  par 
dons  not  the  illusion  that  soothes  the  sufferings  of  a  bereaved 
soul.  But  that  age  in  which  superstition  held  her  empire 
undisputed  in  the  Choctaw  mind  has  long  since  past;  and 
that  noble  people,  however  seemingly  low,  or  however  op 
posed  in  their  progress  by  conflicting  and  opposing  circum 
stances,  have  years  ago  turned1  towards  truth,  and  have  long 
•since  attained  that  goal  which  reason  has  erecTed  in  their 
breasts  equaj  to  that  of  the  White  Race. 

The  deep  and  unaffected  grief  of  a  Choctaw  mother  at 
the  death  of  a  daughter,  and  that  also  of  a  father  at  the  loss 
of  an  only  son  in  whom  rested  his  fondest  hopes,  words  are 
inadequate  to  describe.  With  tearless  eyes  and  solemn 
countenance  the  bereaved  father  strolled  about  his  little 
premises,  seemingly  unconscious  of  all  the  surroundings, 
while  the  frequent  outbursting  of  grief  in  the  loud  lamenta 
tions  of  the  mother  was  truly  a  Rachel  weeping  for  her  child 
ren.  There  never  lived  a  race  of  people  more  affectionate 
one  to  another  than  the  Choctaws  inyiieir  ancient  homes. 
They  actually  seemed  as  one  great  brotherhood— one  loving> 
trusting  family;  nor  has  there  been  any  material  change 


from  that  day  to  this.  'Tis  true,  they  were  subject  to  like 
passions  with  all  imperfect  humanity,  and  in  momentary  fits 
of  passion,  excited  by  the  white  man's  "Personal  Liberty," 
one  sometimes  killed  another;  but  as  soon  as  his  drunken  fit 
had  worn  off  and  momentary  anger  cooled,  he  manifested 
the  deepest  sorrow  for  the  unfortunate  affair;  nor  did  he 
ever  try  to  escape  from  the  punishment  attending-  the  crime 
— never;  but  calmly  offered  himself  as  a  voluntary  sacrifice 
to  the  offended  law. 

They  held  specified  cries  for  the  dead,  which  to  us  of  the 
present  day  would  appear  strange  and  even  bordering-  upon, 
the  romantic,  yet  could  not  be   witnessed  without  emotions 
of  sadness.     After  the  death  and  burial,  the  time  was  set  by 
the  near  relations  of  the  deceased  for  the  cry,  and  notice  was 
given  to^  the   neighboring*   villages   for   their  attendance,    to 
which  all  gave  a  ready  response.  When  assembled,  as  many 
as  could  conveniently,  would  kneel  in  a  close  circle  around  the 
grave,  both  men  and  women;  then   drawing  their   blankets 
over  their  heads  would  commence  a  wailing  cry  in   different 
tones  of  voice,  which,  though  evident  to  a  sensitive  ear  that 
the  rules  of  harmony  had  been  greatly  overlooked,    produced 
a  solemnity  of  feeling  that  was  indescribable,    to  which   also 
the  surroundings  but  added  to  the  novelty  of  the   scene;  for 
here  and  there,  in  detached  little  groups,   were  seated   upon 
the  ground  many  others,  who   in  solemn  demeanor   chatted 
in  a  low  tone  of  voice  and    smoked  the  indispensible  pipe; 
while  innumerable  children  of  all  ages  and  sexes,  engaged  in 
their  juvenile  sports  and  in   thoughtless   glee   mingled   their 
happy  voices  with  the  sad  dirge  of  their   seniors;   which   ad 
ded  to  the  barking  of  a  hundred  dogs  intermingling  with   the 
tinkling  chimes  of  the  little  bells  that  were   suspended  upon 
the  necks  of  as  many  ponies,  made  a   scene  baffling  all  des 
cription.     At   different  intervals,   one,   sometimes  three 'or 
four  together,  would  arise  from  the  circle  of  mourners,   qui 
etly  walk  away  and  join  some  one   of  the  many  little   groups 
seated  around,  while  the  vacancy  in  the  mourning  circle  was 
im mediately  filled  by  others,   who   promptly   came  forward, 
knelt,  drew  their  blankets  over  their  heads,  and  took  up  the 
mournful  strain;  and   thus   for   several  days  and  nights,  the 
wailing  voices  of  the  mourners,  the  gleeful  shouts  of  thought 
less   yet   innocent  and   happy    childhood;   the   howling  and 
barking  of  innumerable  dogs,  and  the  tinkling  of   the    pony- 
bells  of  every  tone  imaginable,  in  all  of  which  dissonance  was 
a  prominent  feature,  was  heard  for  miles  away   through   the 
surrounding  forests,  echoing   a  wild,  discordant  note,   more 
incomprehensible  than  the  united  voices  of  a  thousand  of  the 
different  denizens  of  the  wilderness,  of   wrhich   no   one,   who 


has  not  been  an  eye  witness,  can  form  even  the  most  remote 
conception.  If  alone  in  the  silent  gloom  of  the  wilderness, 
the  boldest  heart  would  quail,  and  the  strongest  nerve  relax, 
unless  the  course  and  meaning-  were  known  and  understood; 
for  he  could  but  believe  that  all  the  lost  spirits  of  the  lower 
world  had  left  their  dark  and  dismal  abodes,  ascended  to 
earth,  and,  in  one  mystic  concert,  brayed  the  fearful  discord. 
More  than  once  have  I  witnessed  the  scene  and  heard  the 
Availing  thereof.  Oft,  in  the  calm  still  hours  of  a  starry  night, 
have  I  heard  the  dubious  tones  of  a  distant  Choctaw  Indian 
cry,  and  as  the  disconnected  sounds,  borne  upon  the  night 
breeze,  floated  by  in  undulating  tones,  now  plainly  audible, 
then  dying  away  in  the  distance,  I  must  confess  there  was  a 
strange  sadness  awakened  in  my  breast,  unfelt  and  unknown 
before  or  since.  It  must  be  heard  to  be  comprehended. 
When  the  time  for  the  cry  had  expired,  the  mourning  was 
exchanged  for  a  previously  prepared  feast;  after  the  enjoy 
ments  afforded  in  the  participation  of  which,  all  joined  in  a 
jolly  dance;  thus  happily  restoring  the  equilibrium  so  long 
physically  and  mentally  disturbed.  Then  each  to  his  home 
returned,  while  the  name  of  the  departed  was  recorded 
among  the  archives  of  the  past,— to  be  mentioned  no  more. 

The  relatives  of  the  deceased,  who  lived  at  too  great  a 
distance  to  conveniently  to  cry  over  the  grave  of  the  dead 
set  up  a  post  a  short  distance  from  the  house,  around  which 
they  gathered  and  cried  •  alternately  during  a  period  of 
twelve  months.  Such  were  some  of  the  ancient  characteris 
tics  of  this  peculiar 'but  interesting  people  of  the  long  ago, 
most  of  which,  however,  have  long  since  been  abandoned  and 
numbered  with  the  things  of  yore. 

The  faces  of  the-Choctaw  and  Chickasaw  men  of  sixty 
years  ago  were  as  smooth  as  a  woman's,  in  fact  they  had  no 
beard.  Sometimes  there  might  be  seen  a  few  tine  hairs  (if 
hairs  they  might  be  called)  here  and  there  upon  the  face, 
but  they  were  few  and  far  between,  and  extracted  with  a 
pair  of  small  tweezers  whenever  discovered.  Oft  have  I  seen 
a  Choctaw  warrior  standing  before  a  mirror  seek'ng  with 
untiring  perseverance  and  unwearied  eyes,  as  he  turned  his 
face  at  different  angles  to  the  glass,  if  by  chance  a  hair  could 
be  found  lurking  there,  which,  if  discovered,  was  instantly 
removed  as  an  unwelcome  intruder.  Even  to-day,  a  full- 
blood  Choctaw  or  Chickasaw  with  a  heavy  beard  is  never 
seen.  I  have  seen  a  few,  here  and  there,  with  a  little  patch 
of  beard  upon  their  chins,  but  it  was  thin  and  short,  and 
with  good  reasons  to  suspect  that  white  blood  flowed  in  their 

It  is  a  truth  but  little  known  .among   the  whites,  that  the 


North  American  Indians  of  untarnished  blood  have  no  hair 
upon  any  part  of  the^body  except  the  head.  My  knowledge 
of  this  peculiarity  was  confined,*  however,  to  the  Choctaws 
and  Chickasaws  alone.  But  in  conversation  with  an  aged 
Choctaw  friend  upon  this  subject,  and  inquiring"  if  this 
peculiarity  extended  to  all  Indians,  he  replied;  "To  all,  I 
believe.  I  have  been  among-  the  Comanches,  Kiowa's  and 
other  western  Indians,  and  have  often  seen  them  bathing, 
men  and  women,  promiscuously  together,  in  the  rivers  of 
their  country,  and  found  it  was  the  same  with  them,  their 
heads  alone  were  adorned  with  hair." 

In  conversation  soon  after  with  a  Creek  friend  upon  the 
subject  in  regard  to  the  full-blood  Creeks,  he  said,  "They  have 
no  hair  whatever  upon  the  body,  except  that  of  the  head,  and 
the  same  is  the  case  with  all  full-bloods  that  I  have  seen  of 
other  tribes."  It  is  also  the  testimony^of  all  the  early  ex 
plorers  of  this  continent. 

In  their  ancient  councils  and  great  national  assemblies, 
the  Choctaws 'always  observed  the  utmost  order  arid  decorum, 
which,  however,  is  universally  characteristic  of  the  Indians 
everywhere.  In  those  grave  and  imposing  deliberations  of 
years  ag-o  convened  at  night,  all  sat  on  the  ground  in  a  circle 
around  a  blazing  fire  called  "The  Council  Fire."  The  aged, 
who  from  decrepitude  had  long  retired  from  the  scenes  of 
active  life,  the  war-path  and  the  chase,  formed  the  inner 
circle;  the  middle  aged  warriors,  the  next  and  the  young 
warriors,  the  outer  circle.  The  women  and  children  were 
always  excluded  from  all  their  national  assemblies.  The  old 
men,  beginning  with  the  oldest  patriarch,  would  then  in 
regular  succession  state  to  the  attentive  audience  all  that  had 
been  told  them  by  their  fathers,  and  what  they  themselves 
had  learned  in  the  experience  of  an  eventful'  life — the  past 
history  of  their  nation;  their  vicissitudes  and  changes;  what 
difficulties  they  had  encountered,  and  how  overcome;  their 
various  successes  in  war  and  their  defeats;  the  character  and  ' 
kind  of  enemies  whom  they  had  defeated  and  by  whom  they 
had  been  defeated,  the  mighty  deeds  of  their  renowned 
chiefs  and  famous  warriors  in  days  past,  together  with  their 
own  achivements  both  in  war  and  the  chase;  their  nation's 
days  of  prosperity  and  adversity;  in  short;  all  of  their  tradi 
tions  and  legends  handed  down  to  them  through  :the  suc 
cessive  generations  of  ages  past;  and  when  those  old  seers 
and  patriarchs,  oracles  of  the  past,  had  in  their  turn  gone  to 
dwell  with  their  fathers  in  the  Spirit  Land,  and  their  voices 
were  no  longer  heard  in  wise  counsel,  the  next  oldest 
occupied  the  chairs  of  state,  and  in  turn  rehearsed  to  their 
young  braves  the  traditions  of  the  past,  as  related  to  them 


by  the  former  sages  of  their  tribe,  together  with  their  own 
knowledge;  and  thus  were  handed  down  through  a  long  line 
•of  successive  generations,  and  with  much  accuracy  and 
truth,  the  events  of  their  past  history;  and  when  we  consider 
the  extent  to  which  all  Indians  cultivated  that  one  faculty, 
memory,  their  connections  in  the  history  of  the  past  is  not 
so  astonishing.  I  will  here  relate  a  little  incident  (frequently 
published)  in  the  life  of  the  famous  Indian  chief,  Red  Jacket, 
as  an  evidence  of  strength  and  correctness  of  the  Indian's 
memory.  It  is  said  of  Red  Jacket,  that  he  never  forgot  any 
thing  he  once  learned.  On  a  certain  occasion,  a  dispute 
arose  in  a  council  with  his  tribe  and  the  whites,  concerning 
the  stipulations  made  and  agreed  upon  in  a  certain  treaty. 
"You  have  forgotten,"  said  the  agent,  "we  have  it  written  on 
paper."  "The  paper  then  tells  a  lie,"  replied  Red  Jacket. 
"I  have  it. written  down  here,"  he  added,  placing  his  hand 
with  great  dignity  on  his  brow.  "This  is  the  book  the  Great 
Spirit  has  given  the  Indian;  it  does  not  lie."  A  reference 
was  immediately  made  to  the  treaty  in  question,  when,  to  the 
astonishment  of  all  present,  the  document  confirmed  every 
word  the  unlettered  warrior  and  statesman  had  utttered. 
There  can  be  little  doubt  but  that  a  large  majority  of  their 
traditions  are  based  upon  truth;  though  passing  as  they  have 
through  so  long  a  period  of  time,  it  is  reasonable  to  suppose 
that  many  errors  have  crept  in. 

But  one  has  given  his  opinion,  on  page  92  of  his  "History 
of  the  Indian  Tribes  of  North  America,"  in  the  following 
positive  and  presumptuous  assertion,  though  his  apparent 
ignorance  of  all  the  characteristics  (well  known  to  the  thous 
ands  of  the  White  Race  who  have  lived  among  them  and 
studied  them  a  long  life-time)  of  the  North  American  Indians 
so  plainly  manifested  throughout  his  entire  work,  entitles 
his  assumed  learned  opinion  regarding  the  truth  or  untruth 
of  the  traditions  of  the  North  American  Indians,  or  anything 
else  concerning  that  people,  to  but  little,  if  any,  credit.  He 
boldly  asserts,  with  a  seemingly  great  indifference  as  re 
gards  its  truth,  that  "Nothing  can  be  more  uncertain,  and 
more  unworthy,  we  will  not  say  of  credit,  but  of  consid 
eration,  than  their  (the  Indians')  earlier  traditions;  and 
probably  there  is  not  a  single  fact  in  all  their  history,  sup 
ported  by  satisfactory  evidence,  which  occurred  half  a  cen 
tury  previous  to  the  establishment  of  the  Europeans." 
Though  all  admit  that  the  voices  of  tradition  coming  from 
all  Nations — even  from  our  own  ancestors,  the  Britons — are 
enshrouded,  to  a  greater  or  less  extent,  in  dense  and  dubious 
fogs,  and  become  more  dim  and  distant  as  we  go  further 
.back  into  the  past.  Yet  that  does  not  necessarily  bring  even 


-the  traditions  of  the  North  American  Indians  under  his  edict, 
"Nothing  can  be  more  uncertain,  and  more  unworthy,  we 
will  not  say  of  credit,  but  of  consideration,  than  their  tra 
ditions, "as  here  comes  to  our  aid  modern  Oriental  Discovery, 
with  records  engraven  on  rocks  and  stamped  on  bricks — 
records  contemporary  with  the  events,  and  in  all  cases  inde 
pendent  of  the  modern  authority — since  the  records  have 
been  hidden  from  the  eyes  of  both  the  believer  and  disbe 
liever.  Inscriptions  are  disclosed,  in  languages  now  dead, 
in  characters  long-  forgotten,  and  to  which  every  key  had 
been  apparently  lost.  Ancient  cities  and  countries,  Thebes, 
Ninevah,  Pompeii,  Balbee,  Babylon,  Jerusalem  and  Egypt 
rise  to  testify  and  confirm  the  credit  of  many  of  tne  tra- 
ditons,  fables  and  legends  of  the  Old  World.  And  so  also, 
from  the  buried  past  of  the  New  World,  hundreds  of  wit 
nesses  have  already  been  summoned,  and  are  still  being 
summoned,  that  confirm  the  credit  of  the  traditions  and 
legends  of  the  North  American  Indians,  and  to  which  they 
pointed  back  through  the  long  vista  of  ages  past,  ere  the 
Indians  were  known  to  the  White  Race,  and  give  the  merited 
contradiction  to  the  assertion  that  their  traditions  "merit 
not  even  consideration." 

An  ancient  Choctaw  tradition  attributes  the  origin  of  the 
prairies  along  the  western  banks  of  the  Tombigbee  River,  to 
some  huge  animals  (mammoths)  that  existed  there  at  the 
advent  of  their  ancestors  from  the  west  to  Mississippi. 
Their  tradition  also  states  that  the  Nahullo,  (Supernatural) 
a  race  of  giant  people,  also  inhabited  the  same  country, 
•with  whom  their  forefathers  oft  came  in  hostile  contact. 
These  mighty  animals  broke  off  the  low  limbs  of  the  trees  in 
eating  the  leaves,  and  also  gnawed"  the  bark  off  the  trees, 
which,  in  the  course  of  time,  caused  them  to  wither  and  die; 
that  they  roamed  in  different  bands,  which  engaged  in  des 
perate  battles  whenever  and  wherever  they  met,  and  thus 
caused  them  to  rapidly  decrease  in  numbers;  and  that,  in  the 
course  of  years  all  had  perished  but  two  large  males,  who, 
separate  and  alone,  wandered  about  for  several  years — each 
confining  himself  to  the  solitude  of  the  forest  many  miles 
from  the  other.  Finally,  in  their  wanderings  they  met,  and 
at  once  engaged  in  terrible  conflict  in  which  one  was  killed. 
The  survivor,  now  monarch  of  the  forests,  strolled  about  for 
a  fewxyears  wrapt  in  the  solitude  of  his  own  reflections  and 
independence — then  died,  and  with  him  the  race  became 

That  the  Choctaw  traditions  of  both  the  mammoth  and 
great  men,  was  based  on  truth  as  to  their  former  existence^ 
.in  the  southern  and  western  parts  of  this  continent  is  satis^ 


factorily  established  by  the  many  mammoth  skeletons  of 
both  men  and  beasts  and  fragments  of  huge  bones  that  have 
been,  and  are  continually  being"  found  in  different  parts  of 
the  country,  and  all  of  whom,  according-  to  their  tradition 
were  contemporary  with  the  ancient  fathers  of  the  present 
Indian  race.  It  is  "well  known  that  the  ancient  existence  of 
those  giants  and  mammoth  was  wholly  unknown  to  the 
White  Race,  until  the  excavation  of  their  bones  proved  their 
former  existence;  yet  were  known  to  the  Indians  to  have 
existed  and  so  declared;  but  which  was  regarded  by  the 
whites  as  only  an  Indian  fable,  unworthy  of  belief  or  even  a 
second  thought.  A  huge  skeleton  of  one  of  those  ancient 
animals  was  found  in  March,  1877,  four  miles  east  of  the 
town  of  Greenville,  Hunt  county,  Texas.  I  secured  a  frag 
ment  of  the  skeleton,  evidently  a  part  of  the  femoral  bone, 
which  measured  twenty-one  inches  in  circumference.  A 
tooth  measured  three  inches  in  width,  five  inches  in  length 
along  the  surface  of  the  jaw  bone  and  five  inches  in  depth 
into  the  jaw,  and  weighed  the  seemingly  incredible  weight 
of  eleven  pounds.  The  teeth  proved  the  monster  herbifer- 
ous,  the  anamel  of  which  was  in  a  perfect  -state  of  preserva 
tion.  The  greater  part  of  the  frame  crumbled  to  dust,  as 
soon  as  exposed  to  the  action  of  the  air. 

Here  then  it  had  found  a  burial  place,  among-  others  of 
'the  prehistoric  population  of  the  various  animals  which  held 
possession  of  this  continent  before,  perhaps,  tlie  advent  of 
man,  rising  up  before  us  like  some  old  granite  dome,  weather- 
beaten  and  darkened  by  the  lapse  of  ages  past.  But  death 
came  to  it,  as  to  its  predecessors,  whose  cemeteries  time  has 
opened  here  and  there,  and  revealed  to  the  scrutiny  of  the 
curious,  the  testimony  of  vanished  age .  Many  citizens  of  the 
immediate  neighborhood  visited  the  place  of  disinterment, 
and  viewed  the  solitary  grave  and  looked  with  wondering  in 
terest  upon  this  stranger  of  hoary  antiquity  arising-  from  his 
forest  tomb  where  he  has  so  long  slept  in  silence,  unknown 
and  unsung;  whose  history,  as  that  of  his  mighty  race,  is 
wrapt  in  the  eternal  silence  of  the  unknown  past.  Yet,  to 
one  who  seeks  to  muse  o'er  the  mysteries  of  the  unwritten 
long  ago,  this  fossil  tells  a  story  of  the  mystic  days  of  yore 
and  of  the  multiplied  thousands  of  years  since  old  Mother 
Earth  commenced  to  bear  and  then  destroy  her  children. 

Ah,  could  the  records  of  the  ages  to  which  they  point  be 
restored,  how  many  doubts  and  problems  would  be  solved? 
But  they  only  tantalize  us  by  their  near  approach  and  uddi- 
minished  inscrutableness,  while  imagination  shrinks  from 
the  comtemplation  of  the  intervening-  years  between.  Yet, 
from  those  relics  of  the  ages  past,  an  unlimited  field  for  the 


imagination   is   open     to  view,    which   many    thinkers   have 
attempted  to  explore  only  to  find  themselves  utterly  lost. 

"Hupimmi  hattak  tikba  a  mintih  hushi  aiokatula"  (our 
,  forefathers  came  from  the  west),  declare  the  ancient  Choc- 
taws  through  their  tradition,  and  "they  saw  the  mighty 
beasts  of  the  forests,  whose  tread  shook  the  earth;  but  our 
forefathers'  ancestry  came  from  the  northwest  beyond  the 
the  big  water." 

'"Tis  but  the  tradition  of  the  ignorant  Indian — a  foolish 
fable,"  responded  he  of  the  pale-face,  of  boasted  historical 
attainments-  When  lo!  accident  unearths  the  long  hidden 
monster  of  traditional  record,  and  the  truth  of  the  rejected 
declaration  of  the  despised  Indian  is  established,  and 
with  equal  truth  establishing  the  fact  that,  mid  all 
our  boasted  ancient  pedigree,  theirs  is  more  ancient,  and 
perhaps  more  honorable,  reaching  back  through  the  vista  of 
pre-historic  times  to  the" dim  and  hazy  regions  of  ages  past 
and  unknown. 

Also  of  the  tradition  of  the  Choctaws  which  told  of  a  race 
of  giants  that  once   inhabited  the    now   State   of   Tennessee, 
and  with  whom  their  ancestors  fought  when    they   arrived  in 
Mississippi  in  their  migration  from  the  west,    doubtless   Old 
Mexico.     Their  tradition  states  the  Nahullo  (race   of  giants) 
was  of  wonderful  stature;  but,  as  their  tradition  of  the   mas 
todon,   so   this     was    also   considered   to    be     but   a  foolish 
fable,   the    creature   of   a   wild   imagination,   when   lo!   their 
exhumed  bones  again  prove  the  truth  of  the  Choctaws'  tradi 
tion.     In  the  fall  of  1880,  Mr.  William  Bevtrly,  an  old  gentle 
man  84  years  of  age  living  near   Piano,  Collin  County,  Texas, 
and  who  was  born  in  west  Tennessee  and  there  live'd  to  man 
hood,  stated  to  me  that  near   his   father's   house   on   a   small 
creek  were  twenty-one  mounds  in  consecutive  order  forming 
a   crescent,    each     distant   from    the   other   about   fifty   feet 
~and    each    with   a   base   of   seventy-five    or     eighty   feet    in 
diameter,  and  rising  to  an  average  height  of  forty  feet;   that 
he,  when  a  boy  twelve  years   of   age,   was   present  with   his 
father,  when  an  excavation  was  made  in  one  of  the  moundjTin 
which  human  bones  of  enormous  size  were  found,  the  femoral 
bones  being  five  inches  longer  than  the  ordinary  length,  and 
the  jaw  bones  were  so  large  as  to  slip  over  the  face  of  a   man 
with   ease.     This    statement   was   confirmed   by    Rev.    Mr. 
Rudolph  of  McKinney,  Texas,  and  several  others,  all  men  of 
undoubted  veracity,   which   places   the  truth    of   the  former 
existence  of  the  mounds,  their   excavations   and    results,   as 
well  as  the   Choctaw   tradition,    beyond   all   doubt   and   even 

In  regard  to  the  race  of  giants   that1  once   occupied 'the 


now  State  of  Tennessee  and  mentioned  in  the  tradition  of  the 
ancient  Choctaws,  Mr.  H.  S.  Halbert,  an  esteemed  friend, 
says  in  a  letter  to  me,  January  22,  1878,  "I  will  give  you  some 
facts  which  modern  researches  have  thrown  upon  the 
ancient  occupancy  of  this  continent,  on  the  Atlantic  seaboard 
of\the  United  States  stretching-  from  the  coast  of  North 
Carolina  up  to  and  through  New  England.  I  refer  particu 
larly  to  the  seaboard . 

"I  am  satisfied  that  the  Indian  race  were  in  occupancy  of 
this  seaboard  region  only  about  200  years  before  the  discov 
ery  of  America  in  1492,  I  give  the  reasons: 

-1* About  the  year  1000,  A.  D.  (I  quote  the  date  from 
memory,  not  having  the  authories  before  me)  the  Northmen 
discovered  America  and  made  some  settlements  on  the  New 
England  coast.  All  this,  as  you  know,  is  historical.  The 
Northmen  there  came  in  contact  with  a  people  whom  they 
called  Skrellings.  Now  these  Skrellings,  from  the  descrip 
tion  given  by  them  were  not  Indians,  but  Esquimaux.  They 
were  the  same  kind  of  people  the  Northmen  had  previously 
met  in  Greenland  and  whom  they  called  also  Skrellings,  or 
rather  Skraellinger.  This  is  plain  proof  that  500  years  be 
fore  Columbus,  the  Esquimaux  race  was  inhabiting  the  sea 
board  of  New  England  and  not  the  Indians. 

"Again,  the  Tuscarora  Indians,  now  living  in  Canada, 
but  formerly  from  North  Carolina,  state  in  their  traditions 
that  they  came  from  the  west  and  settled  on  the  North  Caro 
lina  seaboard  about  the  year  A.  D.  1300.  Their  traditions 
also  state  that  they  came  in  contact  with  a  people  of  short 
steiture,  ignorant  of  maize  and  eaters  of  raw  flesh. 

"Now  to  whom  does  this  description  apply  but  to  the 
Esquimaux?  Thirdly,  relics  have  been  discovered — imple 
ments  of  various  kinds,  along  the  seaboard  exactly  similar  to 
those  used  by  the  Esquimaux  of  the  present  day.  All  this 
is  plain  proof  to  my  mind,  that  the  Esquimaux  once  inhabited 
the  Atlantic  seaboard  as  far  south  as  North  Carolina,  and 
that  they  were  pushed  northward  by  the  influx  of  the  incom 
ing  Indian  tribes;  and  that- the  Indian  had  not  been  settled 
but  for  comparatively  a  short  period  in  this  seaboard  at  the 
time  of  Columbus'  discovery.  The  Mound  Builders  seemed 
to  have  never  occupied  this  seaboard  stretching  from  North 
Carolina  upward.  Now  as  to  the  Delaware  tradition. 

"The  Delawares,  or  Leni  L/enape  as  thev  style  them 
selves  in  their  native  tongue,  have  a  tradition  that  they  came 
from  the  west.  When  they  came  to  the  Great  River, 
perhaps,  somewhere  in  the  latitude  of  St.  Louis,  they 
found  a  people  of  tall  stature,  and  living-  in  towns.  This 


people  the  Delawares  called  Allegewi.  They  asked 
the  Allegewi  for  permission  to  cross  the  river,  which  was 
granted.  The  Alleg-ewi,  however,  seeing  the  Indians  con 
stantly  coming  from  the  west  in  such  large  numbers, 
and  fearing  they  would  ultimately  dispossess  them  of  their 
country,  commenced  war  upon  them.  After  years  of  fight 
ing,  the  Allegewi  were  defeated  and  driven  out  of  their 
country — retreating  southward,  and  the  Delawares  and  other 
tribes  took  possession  of  their  country.  Now  these  Allegewi 
are  without  doubt  the  same  stock  of  people  spoken  of  in  Choc- 
taw  tradition  as  the  Nahoolo." 

The  word  Nahoolo  is  a  corruption  of  the  Choctaw  word 
Nahullo  and  is  now  applied  to  the  entire  White  Race,  but 
anciently  it  referred  to  a  giant  race  with  whom  they  came  in 
contact  when  they  first  crossed  the  Mississippi  river.  These 
giants,  says  their  tradition,  as  related  to  the  missionaries 
occupied  the  northern  part  of  the  now  States  of  Mississippi 
and  Alabama  and  the  western  part  of  Tennessee.  The  true 
signification  of  the  word  Nahullo  is  a  superhuman  or  super 
natural  being,  and  the  true  words  for  white  man  are  Hattak- 
tohbi.  The  Nahullo  were  of  white  complexion,  according  to 
Choctaw  tradition,  and  were  still  an  existing  people  at  the 
time  of  the  advent  of  the  Choctaws  to  Mississippi;  that  they 
were  a  hunting  people  and  also  cannibals,  who  killed  and 
ate  the  Indians  whenever  they  could  capture  them,  conse 
quently  the  Nahullo  were  held  in  great  dread  by  the  Indians 
and  were  killed  by  them  whenever  an  opportunity  was 
presented;  by  what  means  they  finally  became  extinct,  tradi 
tion  is  silent. 

"Chemical  analysis  of  the  bones  of  this  giant  race  in 
Tennessee  and  elsewhere,"  says  Mr.  H.  S.  Halbert,  in  a 
letter  of  January  3rd,  1878,  "indicate  the  ravages  of  one  of 
the  most  terrible  diseases  to  which  flesh  is  heir.  Bones  ex 
humed  from  these  ancient  cemeteries  indicate  with  painful 
certainty  that  syphilis  was,  at  least,  one  cause  of  the  extinct 
ion  of  this  ancient  people.1  It  was  long  supposed  that  syph 
ilis  was  imported  into  this  continent  by  the  European  race. 
That  may  have  been  the  case,  in  the  historical  period,  but  I 
have  no  doubt  it  prevailed  with  awful  fatality  among  that 
ancient  people,  who  -dominated  a  large  portion  of  this 
continent  before  the  advent  of  the  Indian  race.  - 

"Mr.  Grant  L/incicum,  (Dr.  Gideon  Lincicum,  with  whom 
I  was  personally  acquainted,  was  an  educated  white  man, 
who  came  to  the  Choctaw  Nation  after  the  advent  of  the  mis 
sionaries,  and  settled  at  Columbus,  then  a  small  place,  and 
afterwards  wrote  a  MS.  of  the  Choctaw  habits,  customs, 
traditions  and  legends,  which  has  been  lost)  "stated  that 


they  (the  Mound  Builders)  were,  according-  to  the  Choctaw 
tradition,  a  hunting-  people.  He  certainly  must  be  in  error 
on  this  point.  (Not  so;  Lincicum  used  the  pronoun  "they" 
with  reference  to  the  Nahullo,  and  not  to  the  Mound  Build 
ers,  of  whom  their  traditions  never  spoke).  Now  I  believe 
that  the  Mound  Builders  were  of  much  fairer  complexion 
than  the  Indian,  perhaps  almost,  if  not  quite,  as  fair  as  we, 
and  were  an  agricultural  people  also.  Disease  and  war  no 
doubt  were  the  main  causes  of  their  extinction.  Detached 
oifsliODts  of  them  may  have  amalgamated  with  the  Indian 
tribes,  and  thus  lost  their  physical  peculiarities,  but  at  the 
same  time  kept  up  with  their  tribal  organization.  The  Man- 
dan  Indians  (now  extinct)  are  supposed  to  have  been  a  de- 
g-enerate  and  amalgamated  offshoot  of  the  Mound  Builders,. 
ln--their  manners  and  customs  they  were  strikingly  differen. 
from  the  other  Indians.  I  have  no  doubt  but  the  researches 
of  antiquarians  in  some  manner,  to  us  yet  unknown,  will 
throw  much  light  upon  the  early  occupants  of  this  con 

Be  that  as  it  may,  I  still  believe  in  the  Choctaw  traditions 
—that  the  Nahulio  who  inhabited  North  Mississippi  and  Ala 
bama,  and  West  Tennessee,  were  "a  hunting  people,"  as 
they  have  left  no  trace  whatever  of  having  been  agricultur 
ists,  ad  the  unbroken  forests  of  majestic  trees  of  ages 
growth,  that  covered  the  land  everywhere  at  the  advent  the 
of  the  Europeans,  evidently  prove. 

Still  I  admit,  with  friend  Halbert,  that,  possibly  the  Al- 
legewi  of  Delaware  tradition  may  be  the  Nahulio  of  Choctaw 
tradition, — if  they  were  of  white  complexion,  as  the  word 
Nahulio  is  emphatically  applied  to  the  white  race  and  no 
other.  If  white,  may  they  not  be  of  the  Northmen,  who,  it 
is  said,  ''established  a  few  colonies  upon  the  Atlantic  coast 
A.  D.  1000.  ?"  Then,  if  the  North  American  Indians  are  not 
the  Mound  builders,  (which  has  not  yet  been  satisfactorily 
proved)  may  not  the  Northmen  be? 

Some  hate  believed  that  the  Nahulio  were  the  Carib 
Indians,  as  they  were  said  to  be  of  gigantic  stature  and  also 
cannibals,  and  who  once  inhabited  our  Gulf  coast.  The}' 
were  found  by  Columbus  in  the  West  Indies,  and  they  are 
still  found  in  the  isles  of  the  Caribbean  sea  and  Venezuela. 
The  early  French  writers  of  Louisiana  called  the  Caribs  by 
their  Indian  name  Attakapas,  and  Attakapas  Parish  in  Louis 
iana  took  its  name  from  that  tribe.  The  French  translated 
Attakapas,  Man-eater.  Attakapas  is  a  corruption  of  the 
Choctaw  words  Hattakapa,  (man  eatable)  which  they  (the 
French),  no  doubt,  got  from  the  Choctows,  who  gave  the 
tribe  that  name.  I  am  inclined  to  believe  that  the  Nahulio 



of  the  Choctaw  tradition  were  not  regular  cannibals,  but  that 
they  sacrificed  human  victims  in  their  religious  ceremonies, 
which  in  extreme  cases  may,  perhaps,  have  required  their 
officiates  to  eat  a  portion  also  of  the  victim's  flesh.  The  same 
also  of  the  Caribs, — hence  Hattakapa,  (man  eatable)  instead 
of  Hattakupa,  eater. 

That  the  fore-fathers  of  the  present  Choctaws,  Chicka- 
sawrs,  Cherokees  and  Muscogees  migrated  ag-es  ago  from 
Mexico  to  their  ancien^abodes  east  of  the  Mississippi  river 
there  can  be  scarcely  a  doubt;  and  that  they  were  a  branch 
of  the  Aztecs  there  is  much  in  their  ancient  traditions  and 
leg'ends  upon  which  to  predicate,  at  least,  a  reasonable  sup 
position,  if  not  a  belief.  The  Aztecs  are  regarded  by  some 
asxthe  first  of  the  human  race  that  came  to  the  North  Amer 
ican  continent,  and  by  others  as  one  of  the  oldest  races  of  the 
human  family  upon  earth,  whose  records  and  traditions  point 
back  to  those  of  the  books  of  Genseis  and  Job .  Though 
the  historical  legends  of  the  above  named  tribes  do  not  divide 
the  ages  past  of  their  race  into  four  epochs  as  the  Aztecs,  as 
GamV  Dom  Yasco  Da,  the  Portuguese  mariner  and  discov 
erer  of  the  maritime  route  to  India  near  the  close  of  the  14th 
century,  asserts;  and  the  first  of  which  terminated  in  a  de 
struction  of  the  people  of  the  world  by  famine,  the  second  by 
wind,  the  third  by  fire,  and  the  fourth  by  water,  (very  simi 
lar  to  the  traditions  and  legends  of  the  Hindoos),  yet  they  do 
point  back  to  many  historical  facts  of  the  Christian's  Bible, 
which  have  been  handed  dowrii  by  tradition  through  ages  and 
point  to  great  and  important  events  of  the  long  past,  equally 
showing  that  their  race,  as  well  as  the  Aztecs,  are  among 
the  oldest  of  the  human  race,  and  also  among  the  first  that 
came  to  the  North  American  continent.  These  legends, 
traditions  and  parts  of  histories  point  back  to  pestilences, 
.  plagues  and  cataclysms  preceded  by  long  periods  of  dark 
ness,  then  dense  clouds  followed  by  the  return  of  light  to  the 
earth,  during  which  the  human  race  was  nearly  exterminated, 
which  are  fully  sustained  by  the  geologists  of  the  present 
clay,  who  affirm  that  there  has  been  an  age  of  thick  clouds 
and  of  floods,  snows  and  glacier  ice. 

The  Choctaws'  endurance  of  pain — even  to  excruciating 
torture — and  to  him  the  true  exponent  of  every  manly  virtue, 
was  equal  to  that  of  any  of  his  race  and  truly  astonishing  to 
behold;  and  he  who  could  endure  the  severest  torture7with 
the  least  outward  manifestation  of  suffering,  was  regarded 
by  his  companions  as  .most  worthy  of  admiration  and  adula 
tory  praise,  the  bravest  of  the  brave.  No  race  of  the  human 
family,  of  which  I  have  read  or  heard,  ever  endured  turture, 
without  a  murmur,  groan^or  sigh,  as  did  the  North  Ameri- 

214  ..  HISTORY   OF   THE  INDIANS. 

can  Indians  when  inflicted  by  an  enemy  to  elicit  a  groan  or 
sigh — to  them  a  manifestation  of  disgraceful  weakness; 
therefore,  both  men  and  women,  endured  the  fire  at  the 
stake,  or  to  be  cut  to  pieces  by  piece-meal,  without  any  mani 
festation  of  pain  whatever;  but  derided  their  tormentors  and 
mocked  at  their  efforts  to  force  even  a  groan  from  their  vic 
tim.  Of  all  the  animals  of  their  forests,  there  were  but  two 
that  no  torture  could  force  from  them  a  manifestation  of  pain 
—the  wolfe  and  the  opossum: 

Even  the  little  Choctaw  boys  took  delight  in  testing  the 
degrees  of  their  manhood  by  various  ways  of  inflicting"  pain.. 
I  have  often  seen  the  little  fellows  stir  up  the  nests  of  yellow 
jackets,  bumble-bees,  hornets  and  wasps,  and  then  stand 
over  the  nests  of  the  enraged  insects  which  soon  literally 
covered  them,  and  fight  them  with  a  switch  in  each  hand; 
and  he  who  stood  and  fought  longest  without  flinching — fore 
shadowed  the  future  man — was  worthy  'the  appellation  of 
Mighty  Warrior.  But  the  business  ends  of  the  hornets,, 
bees  and  wasps,  noted  for  their  dispatch  in  all  matters  of 
this  kind,  universally  effected  a  hasty  retreat  of  the  intrtider 
upon  their  domiciles,  sooner  or  later — much  to  the  delight  of 
his  youthful  companions  and  acknowledged  by  an  explosion 
of  yells  and  roars  of  laughter.  But  the  discomfitted  embryo 
warrior  consoled  himself  by  daring-  any  one  of  his  merry 
making  companions  to  "brave  the  lion  in  his  den,"  as  he  had 
and  endure  longer  than  he  did  the  combined  attacks  of  the 
valiant  little  enemy.  The  challenge  was  most  sure  to  be  ac 
cepted,  but  invariably  with  the  same  result,  a  retreat  at  the 
expense  of  a  hearty  laugh.  From  one  to  three  minutes  was 
the  average  length  of  a  battle,  the  insects  holding  the  field 
invariably.  I  have  also  seen  them  place  a  hot  coal  of  fire  on 
the  back  of  the  hand,  wrist  and  arm,  and  let  it  burn  for 
many  seconds — bearing  it  with  calm  composure  and  without 
the  least  manifestation  of  pain;  thus  practicing  those  first 
lessons  of  endurance  which  were  to  enable  them,  when  ar 
rived  to  manhood,  to  undergo  the  most  dreadful  tortures 
without  manifestation  of  pain,  or  experience  the  deepest 
sorrow  without  the  slightest  emotion.  Verily,  who  can  offer 
a  better  claim  than  the  North  American  Indian  to  the  title, 
"The  stoic  of  the  woods— the  man  without  a  tear?"  As  a 
race  of  people,  they  have  exhibited  a  power  of  enduring  the 
severest  torture  of  which  it  is  possible  to  conceive  without  a 
murmur,  without  a  groan,  or  even  the  movement  of  a  mus 
cle;  in  this  differing  from  all  Nations  of  people  that  have  ever 
been  known  to  exist.  A  few  years  ago,  in  the  Sherman  and 
Sheridan's  wars  of  exterminating-  the  unfortunate  and  help 
less  western  Indians,  it  is  stated  that,  during  a  fight  with 


y  9 

some  white  men.  who  had  made  an  attack  upon  an  Indian  vil 
lage  of  a  western  tribe,  an  Indian  mother  concealed  her  little 
daughter — a  mere  child — in  a  barrel,  telling  her  to  remain 
perfectly  quiet  no  matter  what  should  take  place.  After  the 
battle  the  soldiers  found  the  little  girl  with  her  arm  fearfully 
shattered  by  a  minnie  ball,  but  the  little  sufferer  had  not 
uttered  a  word.  Was  there  ever  recorded  of  any  other  Na 
tion  of  people  such  manifestations  of  heroic  fortitude? 

Patience  was  also  considered  among  the  Choctaws  a 
bright  and  manly  virtue  and  in  connection  with  that  of  en 
durance,  formed  the  basis  from  which  they  derived  all  the 
other  qualities  of  their  characters;  and  they  estimated  their 
success,  both  in  war  and  hunting,  as  depending  almost  *ex- 
clusively  upon  their  unwearied  patience  and  the  ability  of 
great  and  long  endurance. 

The  ancient  Choctaws  were  as  susceptible  to  all  the 
pleasing  emotions  produced  by  the  sweet  concords  of  sound 
as  any  other  people,  yet  their  musical  genius,  in  the  inven 
tion  of  musical  instruments,  never  extended  beyond  that  of 
a  cane  flute  and  a  small  drum,  which  was  constructed  from 
a  section  cut  from  a  small  hollow 'tree,  over  the  hollow  part 
of  which  was  stretched  a  fresh  deer  skin,  cleansed  from  the 
hair,  which  became  very  tight  when  dried;  and  when  'struck 
by  a  stick  made  a  dull  sound,  little  inferior  to  that  of  our 
common  snare-drum;  which  could  be  heard  at  a  considerable 
distance;  and  though  uncouth  in  appearance,  and  inharmo 
nious  in  tone,  as  all  drums,  still  its  "voice"  was  considered 
an  indispensable  adjunct  as  an  accompaniment  to  all  their 
national  and  religious  ceremonies;  even  as  the  ear-spl? Iting 
discords  of  the- civilized  snare  or  kettle-drum,  united  with 
the  deafening  roar  of  the  base  drum  are  considered  by  the 
white  man  as  indispensable  in  all  his  displays  of  harmonj'. 
Yet  the  ancient  Choctaw,  in  all  his  solemn  ceremonies,  as 
well  as  amusements  and  merry-makings,  did  not  depend  so 
much  upon  the  jarring  tones  of  the  diminutive  drum,  as  he 
did  upon  his  own  voice;  which  in  concert  with  the  monoto- 
,nous  tones  of  the  drum, — to  the  cultivated  and  sensitive  ear 
a  mere  jargon  of  sound, — was  to  the  Indian  ear  the  most  ex 
citing  music,  and  soon  wrought  him  to  the  highest  state  of 
excitement.  In  all  their  dances  they  invariably  danced  to 
the  sound  of  the  indispensable  drum,  accompanied  with  the 
low'hum  of  the  drummer,  keeping  exact  step  with  its  mo 
notonous  tone.  In  the  social  dance  alone  were  the  women 
permitted  to  participate,  which  to  the  youthful  maiden  of 
"sweet  sixteen,"  was  truly  the  ultimatum  of  earthly  bliss. 

But  little  restraint,  parental  or  otherwise,  was  placed 
upon  their  children,  hence  they  indulged  in  any  and  all 


i  ,  * 

amusements  their  fancy  might  suggest.  The  boys  in  little 
bands  roamed  from  village  to  village  at  their  own  pleasure, 
or  strolled  through  the  woods  with  their  blow-guns  and  bow 
and  arrows,  trying  their  skill  upon  all  birds  and  squirrels 
that  were  so  unfortunate  as  to  come  in  their  way.  They  were 
but  little  acquainted  with  the  principles  of  right  and  wrong, 
having  only  as  their  models  the  daring  deeds  of  their  fathers 
in  war  and  the  chase,  they  only  yearned  for  the  time  when 
they  might  emulate  them  in  heroic  achievements  ;  and  one 
would  very  naturally  infer  that  these  boys,  ignorant  of  all 
restraint  from  youth  to  manhood,  would  have  been,  when 
arrived  to  manhood,  a  set  of  desperadoes,  indulging  in  every 
vi<?e  and  committing  every  crime.  But  not  so.  No  race  of 
young  people  ever  grew  up  to  manhood  in  any  nation  who 
were  of  a  more  quiet  nature  and 'peaceful  dispositions  than 
the  youths  of  the  old  Mississippi  Choctaws.  They  seldom 
quarreled  among  themselves  even  in  boyhood,  and  less,  when 
arrived  to  the  state  of  manhood.  To  them  in  youth  as  well 
as  in  advanced  years,  as  to  all  of  their  race,  the  dearest  of  all 
their  earthly  possessions  from  childhood  to  manhood,  from 
manhood  to  old  age,  and  from  old  age  to  the  grave,  was  their 
entire  and  unrestrained  freedom;  and  though  untrammeled  by 
mortal  restraint,  yet  there  seemed  to  exist  in  their  own 
breasts  a  restraining  influence,  a  counteracting  power,  that 
checked  the  ungoverned  passions  of  their  uncultivated  na 
tures  through  life,  and  kept  them  more  within  the  bounds  of 
prudence  and  reason,  than  any  race  of  uneducated  people  I 
ever  knew. 

Among-  every  North  American  Indian  tribe  from  their 
earliest  known  history  down  to  the  present,  -there  was  and  is 
a  universal  belief  in  the  existence  of  a  God,  and  Supreme 
Being,  universally  known  among-  all  Indians  as  the  Great 
Spirit;  and  with  whose  attributes  were  associated  all  the 
various  manifestations  of.  natural  phenomena;  and  in  point  of 
due  respect  and  true  devotion  to  this  Great  Spirit — their 
acknowledged  God — they  as  a  whole  to-day  excel,  and  ever 
have  excelled,  the  whites'  in  their  due  respect  and  true  devo 
tion  to  their  acknowledged  God.  Never  was  an  Indian  known 
to  deny  the  existence  of  his  God — the  Great  Spirit — and 
attribute  the  creation  of  all  things,  himself  included,  to 
chance.  Never  was  a  North  American  Indian  known  to  deny 
the  wisdom  and  power  of  the  Great  Spirit  as  manifested  iii 
the  creation  of  an  intellectual  and  immortal  being,  yet  found 
and  acknowledged  it  in  the  monkey. 

Never  was  an  Indian  known  to  deny  his  immortality 
bestowed  upon  him  by  the  Great  Spirit.  "  Immortality,  that 
most  sublime  thought  in  all  the  annals  of  fallen  humanity, 


has  ever  found  a  resting  place  immovably  fixed  in  every 
Indian's  heart,  not  one  excepted;andunderitsbenigninfluence, 
their  uncultivated  minds  have  expanded  and  shadows  of 
death  been  disarmed  o.f  terror;  and  though,  through  all  the 
ages  past  has  been  heard  the  inquiry — "Is  there  a  latent 
spark  in  the  human  breast  that  will  kindle  and  glow  after 
death?"  and  though  earth's  learned  of  all  time  have  pondered 
over  it,  and  pronounced  it  the  world's  enigma,  and  affirmed 
and  still  affirm,  death  to  be  the  end  of  all,  eternal  oblivion,  an 
endless  sleep,  yet  the  unlettered  children  of  nature,  the 
despised,  down-trodden  Indians,  have  lo'ng  had  the  problem 
solved  to  their  own  satisfaction  and  peace  of  mind,  never 
experiencing-  a  doubt. 

To  the  Choctaws,  as  well  as  to  all  Indians,  the  voice  of 
the  distant  muttering  thunder  that  echoed  from  hill  to  hill 
through  their  wide  extended  forests;  the  roaring  wind  and 
lightning  flash  that  heralded  the  approaching  storm,  were 
but  the  voice  of  that  Great  Spirit,  and  they  made  them  the 
themes  that  filled  their  souls  with  song  and  praise.  They 
ever  heard  the  voice  of  that  unseen  Great  Spirit  throughout 
.all  nature — in  the  rustling  leaf  and  the  sighing  breeze;  in  the 
roaring  cataract  and  the  murmuring  brook;  and  they  ex 
pressed  their  souls'  adoration;  understood  and  comprehend 
ed  by  them  alone,  in  their  songs  and  dances.  To  them  all 
nature  ever  spoke  in  lang'uage  most  potential,  and  their  im 
mortality  and  future  existence  in  another  world  they  never 
doubted,  though  their  ideas  of  future  rewards  and  punish 
ments  beyond  the  tomb  were  feeble  and  confused. 

It  was  their  ancient  custom  to  leave  the  murderer  in  the 
hands  of  the  murdered  man's  relatives  and  friends;  and,  .as 
"an  eye  for  an  eye,  and  a  tooth  for  a  tooth"  was  recorded 
.upon  their  statute  book,  he  was,  sooner  or  later,  most  sure  to 
fall  by  an  unknown. "and  unseen  hand.  Sometimes,  however, 
the  slayer,  appeased  the  avenger  by  paying  a  stipulated 
amount;  buk  this  was  of  rarex occurrence.  Soon  after  the 
missionarieiffcwere  established  among  them,  a  company,  of 
armed  ar:d  ntounted  police,  called  "Light  Horse  Men,"  .were 
organized  for -'each  district,  in  whom  was  vested  the  power 
of  arresting  and  trying  all  violators  of  the  law.  They  were 
continually  riding  over  the  country  settling  all  difficulties 
that  arose  among  parties  or  individuals,  and  arresting  all 
violators  of  the  law.  The  custom  of  leaving  the  murderer  to 
be  disposed  of  as  the  relatives  of  the  deceased  saw  proper, 
was  then  set  aside,  and  the  right  of  trial  by  the  Light  Horse 
who  acted  in  a  three  fold  capacity — sheriff,  judge  and  jury, 
was  awarded  to  all  offenders.  The  Light  Horse  were  com 
posed  of  a  brave  and  vigilant  set  of  fellows,  and  nothing  es- 


caped  their  eagle  eyes;  and  they  soon  became  a  terror  to 
white  whiskey  peddlers  who  invaded  the  Choctaw  territories 
at  that  time.  When  caug'ht,  the  whiskey  was  poured  upon 
the  ground  and  the  vender  informed  that  his  room  was  pre 
ferable  to  his  company. 

When  a  murder  was  committed,  the  Light  Horse  at  once 
took  the  matter  into  consideration,  and  after  hearing1  all  the 
testimony  pro  and  con,  pronounced  the  verdict  in  accordance 
thereto.  If  the  person  accused  was  found  to  be  guilty,  there 
and  then,  the  time  and  place  of  his  execution  was  designated, 
and  the  doomed  man  was  informed  that  his  presence  would 
accordingly  be  expected.  He  never  failed  to  make  his  ap 
pearance  at  the  appointed  place  and  hour,  and  all  things  be 
ing  ready,  a  small  red  spot  was  painted  directly  over  his 
heart  as  a  target  for  the  executioner;  and,  being  placed  in 
position,  calmly  received  the  fatal  bullet,  soon  the  grave 
closed  over  him  and  thus  the  matter  ended.  Sometimes  the 
condemned  would  request  a  short  respite,  a  few  days  exten 
sion  of  time,  assigning  as  a  reason  for  the  desired  delay,  that 
a  grand  ball-play,  dance  or  hunt,  was  soon  to  take  place,  in 
which  he  desired  to  participate,  and  as  it  did  not  take  place 
until  after  the  appointed  day  of  his  execution,  he  requested 
the  favor  of  postponing  his  little  affair  until  afterward.  The 
request  was  seldom  refused.  The  doomed  man  then  desig 
nated  the  day  and  hour  on  which  he  would  return  and  attend 
to  the  matter  under  consideration.  He  went  to  the  ball-play, 
the  dance,  or  the  hunt,  engaged  in  and  enjoyed  his  anticipated 
fun,  then  returned  true  to  his,  promised  word  and  paid  the 
penalty  of  the  violated  law,  by  calmly  receiving  the  fatal  shot. 
The  rifle  was  invariably  used  as  the  instrument  of  execution, 
for  the  soul  of  the  Choctaw  who  had  been  executed  by  hang 
ing  was  regarded  as  accursed — never  being  permitted  to 
join  his  people  in  the  happy  hunting  grounds,  but  his  spirit 
must  forever  haunt  the  place  where  he  was  hung.  Hence 
their  horror  of  death  by  hanging,  and  the  gallows  has  ever 
been  unknown  among  them.  If  the  condemned-should  fail  to 
appear,  which  was  never  known  to  be,  at  the  time  and  place 
of  his  execution,  or  should  manifest  any  emotion  of  fear  dur 
ing  his  execution,  it  was  regarded  as  a  disgrace  to  himself,  his 
relatives, and  his  nation  as  a  Choctaw  warrior, which  110  length 
of  time  could  ever  efface;  hence  their  honor,  resting  upon 
their  firmness  in  the  hour  of  death,  was  watched  with  jeal 
ous  care.  Never  was  a  full-blood  Choctaw  known  to  evade 
the  death  penalty,  passed  upon  him  by  the  violated  law,  by 
flight.  If  he  violated  the  law  he  calmly  abided  the  conse 
quences,  hence  all  places  of  imprisonment  were  unknown. 
For  minor  offenses,  whipping  was  the  punishment;  fifty 


lashes  for  the  first  offense,  one  hundred  for  the  second,  and 
death  by  the  rifle  for  the  third  offense  in  case  of  theft,  and 
so  it  is  today. 

He  who  had  been  condemned  to  receive  this  punish 
ment  never  attempted  to  evade  it;  but  promptly  presented 
himself,  or  herself,  at  the  designated  place  of  punishment. 
This  punishment  was  inflicted  several  times  at  the  mission 
of  Hebron,  to  which  I  was  an  eye  witness.  Before  the  hour 
appointed,  the  neighborhood  assembled  around  the  church 
which  stood  about  forty  rods  distant  from  the  mission-house, 
where  they  indulged  in  social  conversation  and  smoking; 
never,  however,  mentioning,  or  even  hinting  the  subject 
which  had  brought  them  together.  The  culprit  was  as  gay 
and  cheerful  as  any  of  them,  walking  with  an  air  of  perfect 
indifference,  chatting  and  smoking  writh  the  various  groups 
sitting  around  on  blankets  spread  upon  the  ground.  Precisely 
at  the  moment  designated,  the  Light-Horse, -who  constituted 
a  sort  of  ambulatory  jury,  to  arrest,  try  and  punish  all 
violators  of  the  law,  would  appear.  The  crowd  then  went 
into  the  church,  closed  the  door  and  commenced  singing  a 
religious  hymn,  taught  them  by  the  missionaries,  which  they 
continued  until  the  tragedy  outside  was  over.  At  the  same 
time  the  culprit  shouted  "Sa  mintih!"  I  have  come!  then 
ejaculated  uSa  kullo!"  (I  am  strong!)  He  then  elevated  his 
arms  and  turned  his  back  to  the  executioner 'and  said:  "Fum- 
mih!''  (whip).  When  he  had  received  fifteen  or  twenty 
blows,  he  calmly  turned  the  other  side  to  the  Fum-mi  /(one 
who  whips);  and  then  again,  his.  back,  uttering  not  a  word 
nor  manifesting  the  least  sign  of  pain.  As  soon  as  the 
whipping  was  over,  the  church  door  was  opened  and  the 
whole  assembly  came  out  and  shook  hands  with  the  "Fum- 
ah"  (whipped),  thus  reinstating  him  to  his  former  position  in 
society,  and  the  subject  was  then  and  there  dropped,  never 
to  be  mentioned  again,  and  it  never  was. 

The  Choctaws  had  great  pride  of,  race.  The  warrior, s- 
proudest  boast  was  Choctaw  Siah!  (I  am  a  Choctaw!)  and  he 
still  clings  to  it  with  commendable  tenacity  even  as  he  does 
to  his  native  language.  It  has  been  said  that  no  people  have 
been  truly  conquered  who  refuse  to  speak  the  language  of 
the  conqueror;  therefore  the  North  American  Indians,  that 
subdued,  yet  unsubduable  people,  have  never  ceased  to  speak 
their  native  tongue. 

The  law  on  whipping  for  minor  offenses,  especially  that 
for  theft,  was,  fifty  lashes  on  the  bare  back  for  the  first 
offense;  one  hundred  for  the  second,  and  death  by  the  rifle 
for  the  third.  This  law  is  still  in  force  in  the  Choctaw  Nation. 
Truly,  if  the  whites  would  adopt  this  method  of  dealing  with 



their  own  thieves,  would  there   not   be   less   stealing   among" 

As  an  illustration  of  this  peculiar  characteristic  of  the 
Indians — so  different  from  that  of  any  race  of  whom  I  have 
heard —  i.  e.,  never  fleeing  from,  or  in  any  way  attempting 
to  evade  the  penalties  of  the  violated  law,  I  here  introduce 
the  sad  scene  in  the  execution  of  Chester  Dixon,  a  Choctaw 
youth  convicted  of  murder  at  a  term  of  the  Circuit  Court  of 
the  Choctaw  Nation  in  December,  1883. 

Chester  Dixon  was  a  young,  full-blood  Choctaw7,  about  17 
years  of  age.  He  was  subject  to  fits,  during  which  he  seem 
ed  to  be  unconscious  of  his  acts.  Aside  from  this  malady, 
he  was  considered  rather  a  brig'ht  boy.  He  lived  with  his 
mother  and  step-father,  five  or  six  miles  from  Atoka.  Their 
nearest  neighbors  were  a  Choctaw  known  as  Washington  and 
Martha,  his  wife.  One  evening  Washington,  on  his  return 
home  from  Atoka,  was  shocked  in  finding-  the  body  of  his 
wife  lying  on  the  floor  of  his  cabin  fearfully  mangled,  the 
head  severed  fronuthe  body,  with  several  frightful  gashes, 
evidently  inflicted  with  an  ax,  which  lay  by  the  side  of  the 
corpse.  The  alarm  was  given,  and  it  was  soon  ascertained 
that  Chester  Dixon  was  seen  coming  from  the  house,  in 
which  the  deed  had  been  committed,  covered  with  blood. 
He  was  arrested,  trie'd  by  the  Choctaw7  law,  condemned,  and 
sentenced  to  be  shot  on  an  appointed  day,  at  noon.  He  was 
neither,  confined  nor  guarded,  but  went  where  he  pleased, 
having  pledged  his  word  of  honor,  however,  that  he  would  be 
at  the  place  of  execution  punctual  to  the  hour  appointed. 
Here  I  would  deviate  a  little  from  the  subject,  to  show  how 
prone  the  whites  are  to  misrepresent  the  Indians  in  nearly 
everything  they  write  about  them;  and  it  does  seem  that 
they  cannot  write  a  half  dozen  words  about  this  people  with 
out  shamefully  misrepresenting  them.  It  seems  incredible, 
nevertheless  it  is  true,  as  the  thousands  of  publications  that 
flood  the  country  prove.  I  saw  an  article  in  a  Texas  news 
paper  in  regard  to  this  very  case  of  Chester  Dixon,  in  which 
the  writer  says:  "The  laws  of  the  Choc  taws  provide  for  NO 
APPKAL,  or  poor  Chester's  case  might  have  been  re-consider- 
ed;for  after  his  conviction  he  was  attacked  with  one  of  his  ac 
customed  fits,  which  was  conclusive  and  satisfactory  evidence 
that  he  was  subject \o  temporary  aberration,  during  \vhich 
he  was  irresponsible  for  his  actions.  His  attorney  had  neg 
lected  to  make  this  plea  in  behalf  of  his  client  during  the 
trial,  and  once  the  sentence  of  death  having  been  pronounced 
it  was  unalterable."  Now, the  above  is  utterly  false,  and  the 
writer  should  learn  to  keep  in  respectful  distance  of  the 
truth,  at  least,  before  he  attempts  to  write  about  the  Choc- 


taws.  The  truth  is,  the  laws  of  the  Choctaws  provide  for 
three  appeals — first  from  the  County  Court  to  the  District 
Court;  thence  to  the  Supreme  Court;  thence  to  the  United 
States  Supreme  Court.  But  to  return  to  Chester  Dixon.  A 
few  days  before  the  execution,  Dixon  came  with  his 
step-father  to  Atoka  for  the  purpose  of  ordering  his  coffin. 
He  had  his  measure  taken  for  the  grave,  and  then  calmly 
informed  his  step-father  where  he  wished  to  be  buried. 

The  day  of  execution  came;  and  a  few,  mostly  whites  as 
sembled  at  the  place  of  execution  to  witness  the  sad  scene. 
The  doomed  boy  did  not  make  his  appearance  to  within 
twenty  or  thirty  minutes  of  the  appointed  time/  and  many  of 
the  whites,  judging-  from  their  own  standpoint,  began  to 
doubt  the  integrity  of  the  Choctaw,  and  expressed  those 
doubts  one  to  another.  But  true  to  his  plighted  word,  the 
truthful  youth  soon  rode  up;  and,  dismounting"  from  his 
horse,  quietly  walked  up  to  a  little  group  of  Choctaws,  who 
were  sitting  around  a  fire,  without  taking  any  notice  what 
ever  of  the  surroundings,  and  calmly  took  his  seat  upon  the 
ground,  with  his  head  bowed  between  his  knees  as  if  lost  in 
meditation.  An  aged  Choctaw  man  soon  approached  him, 
and,  speaking  to  him  in  his  own  language,  encouraged  him  to 
bravely  meet  his  fate  as  a  young  Choctaw  brarve;  and  to  die 
willingly,  since  nothing-  but  his  life  could  atone  for  the  one 
he  had  taken;  and  also  to  feel  that  his  people  had  been  just 
in  condemning"  him.  He  spoke  not  a  word  nor  raised  his 
head  during  his  old  friend's  conversation;  but  at  its  conclu 
sion  he  looked  up  and  around  for  a  moment,  then  grasped 
the  old  man's  hand,  as  if  to  say,  I'll  be  firm,  and  he  was  to 
the  last.  Then  his  Choctaw  friends,  both  men  and  women 
came  up  and  bade  him  their  last  earthly  adieu;  with  all  of 
whom  he  shook  hands,  but  spoke  not  a  word.  After  which, 
the  sheriff  brought  the  unfortunate  boy  a  change  of  clothing, 
in  which  he  clothed  himself  for  the  grave,  without  the  least 
discernible  sign  of  agitation;  he  then  took  his  seat  on  a 
blanket  spread  for  Jbim,  and  his  mother  combed  his  hair  with 
calm  composure — her  last  act  of  maternal  love;  and  though, 
with  a  heart  bleeding  at  every  pore,  no  outward  manifesta 
tion  was  made,  yet  her  face  told  the  storm  of  grief  that  raged 
within;  while,  true  to  her  nature,  sh'e  clung  to  her  boy  to  the 
last  moment,  to  console  him  with  a  mother's  presence  and 
a  mother's  love. 

The  sheriff  then  told  Chester  that  the  hour  of  execution 
had  come.  He  arose  at  once  and  quietly  walked  to  the  spot 
pointed  out  to  him  by  the  sheriff,  and  stopped  facing  his 
coffin — the  personification  of  calm  composure  and  firm  resig 
nation.  His  step-father  and  cousin  then  walked  up,  the 


former  taking-  him  by  the  righthand  and  the  latter  by  the  left. 
The  same  venerable  old  man  who  had  first  approached  him, 
again  came  forward  and  made  a  little  black  spot  upon  his 
breast,  just  over  the  heart,  and  once  more  whispered  a  few^ 
words  of  parting-  encourag-emerit,  then  walked  away.  The 
sheriff  then  bound  a  handkerchief  over  his  eyes,  asked  him 
to  kneel,  and  beckoned  to  a  man  who  had  until  then  kept 
himself  concealed.  This  man  was  a  cousin  of  Chester  Dixon, 
and  had  been  chosen  by  Chester  to  do  the  shooting-.  He  now 
advanced,  and  taking  his  position  five  or  six  paces  from  the 
poor  boy,  leveled  his  Winchester  •  rifle  and  fired. 
The  ball  'went  to  the  mark.  At  the  report  of  the  rifle 
Dixon  fett  forward,  and  died  without  a  .  struggle.  The 
mother  now  came  forward  took  charg-e  of  the  lifeless  body  of 
her  boy,  and  with  the  assistance  of  friends,  laid  it  away  in 
the  grave.  No  confusion  nor  even  the  semblance  of  excite 
ment  disturbed  the  solemn  proceedings.  And  when  con 
trasted  to  the  civilized  mode  of  punishment  that  of  hanging 
— the  Choctaw  method  is  certainly  more  humane  and  effec 
tive,  to  say  the  least  of  it. 

I  will  state  another  instance  that  took  place  among  the 
Choctaws  when  living  in  their  ancient  domains. 

A  Choctaw  unfortunately  killed  another  in  a  fit  of  pas 
sion.  He  was  duly  tried,  convicted,  and  sentenced  to  be 
shot  on  a  certain  day;  but  requested  a  stay  of  the  execution, 
upon  the  plea  that  his  wife  and  little  children  would  be  left 
in  a  destitute  condition  unless  he  was  allowed  to  return 
home  and  finish  making  his  brop.  His  request  was  granted 
with  no  other  assurance  than  his  pledged  word  that  he  would 
return  and  receive  his  death  sentence.  The  day  of  execution 
was  fixed  at  a  time  when  the  crop  would  be  matured,  and 
the  doomed  man  returned  to  his  home  and  family.  The  fatal 
day  came  and  found  the  necessary  labor  on  the  crop  finished 
and  also  the  noble  Choctaw  at  the  appointed  hour  and  place, 
where  he  calmly  received  the  fatal  bullet  which  at  once 
closed  his  earthly  career. 

Thus  sacred  was  held  the  noble  virtue,  Truth,  among 
the  ancient  Choctaws  when  they  lived  east  of  the  Mississippi 
river;  and  thus  sacred  is  it  still  held  among  the  full-bloods 
west  of  the  same  river;  and  I  have  never  known  or  heard  of  a 
full-blood  Choctaw  or  Chickasaw,  during  my  personal  ac 
quaintance  with  that  truly  grand  and  noble  people  for  seven 
ty-five  years,  who  violated  his  pledged  word  of  honor  by  fail 
ing  to  appear  at  the  time  and  place  designated,  to  suffer  the 
penalties  of  the  violated  law,  be  it  death  by  the  rifle  or  fifty 
-or  a  hundred  lashes  at  the  whipping  post.  And  truly  it  may 
be  said:  No  race  of  people  ever  adhered  with  greater  ten- 


acity  to  truth,  or  the  greater  hatred  for  the  falsehood,  than  did 
and  do  the  Choctaws.  They  truly  abhorred  and  still  abhor  a 
liar.  Years  before  the  advent  of  the  missionaries  among 
them,  one  of  their  chiefs  was  strangely  addicted  to  lying-; 
and  so  great  did  their  disgust  finally  become  that  they,  in 
council  assembled,  banished  him  "from  their  Nation  under 
pain  of  death  if  he  ever  returned.  This  exiled  chief  then 
settled  with  his  family  in  the  now  parish  of  Orleans,  Louisi 
ana,  on  a  small  tract  of  land  which  projects  into  lake  Pontch- 
artrain,  and  erected  his  lonely  cabin  near  a  bayou  which  is 
connected  with  the  lake.  And  to  this  day,  that  small  tract 
of  land,  it  is  said,  is  called  Ho-lub-i  Miko  (Lying  Chief),  hav 
ing  taken  its  name  from  the  exiled  Choctaw  chief. 

The  territories  of  the  Choctaws  in  1723,  in  which  year 
the  seat  of  the  French  government  in  Louisiana,  then  under 
Bienville,  was  definitely  transferred  from  Natchez  to  New 
Orleans,  then  containing  about  one  hundred  houses  and  three 
thousand  inhabitants,  extended  from  the  Mississippi  River 
to  the  Black  Warrior,  east:  and  from  Lake  Pontchartrain  to 
the  territories  of  the  Natchez,  west,  and  Chickasaws,  north. 
They  possessed  upwards  of  sixty  principal  towns,  and 
could  muster,  as  was  estimated,  twenty-five  thousand  war 

The  Choctaws  called  all  fables  Shukha  Anump  (hog 
talk)  as  a  mark  of  derision  and  contempt.  Some  of  their 
fables,  handed  down  by  tradition  through  unknown  genera 
tions,  were  similar  in  the  morals- taught  byx  those  of  the 
famous  ^Esop.  One  of  these  Shukha  Anumpas  was  that  of 
the  turkey  and  the  terrapin: — A  haughty  turkey  gobbler, 
with  long  flowing  beard  and  glossy  feathers,  meeting  a  ter 
rapin  one  bright  and  beautiful  spring  morning,  thus  accos 
ted  him  with  an  expression  of  great  comtempt;  "What  are 
you  good  for?"  To  which  the  terrapin  humbly  replied 
"many  things."  "Name  one,"  continued  the  turkey.  "I 
can  beat  you  running,"  said  the  terrapin.  "What  nonsense!" 
"I  thought  you  were  a  fool,  now  I  know  it,"  continued  the 

"I  repeat  it,  I  can  beat  you  running,  distance  half  a  mile" 
continued  the  terrapin.  "To  prove  you  are  a  fool  in  believ 
ing  such  an  absurdity,  I'll  run  the  race  with  you,"  responded 
the  turkey  with  marked  disgust.  The  day  was  appointed, 
the  distance  marked  off,  and  the  agreements  entered  into, 
one  of  which  was,  the  .terrapin  was  to  run  with  a  white 
feather  in  his  mouth  by  which  the  turkey  might  be  able  to 
distinguish  him  from  other  terrapin;  another  was,  the  turkey 
was  to  give  the  terrapin  the  advantage  of  one  hundred  yards 
in  the  start.  In  the  intervening  time  of  the  race,  the  wily 


terrapin  secured  the  assistance  of  another  terrapin  to  help 
him  out  of  his  dilemma,  and  thereby  establish  the  reputation 
of  the  terrapin  family  in  point  of  fleetness  to  the  discomfiture 
of  the  haughty  turkey.  Therefore,  he  secretly  placed  his 
assistant,  with  the  white  insignia  also  in  his  mouth,  at  the 
terminus  to  which  the  race  was  to  be  run.  Early  on  the 
morning  of  the  day  agreed  upon,  the  competitiors  were  at 
their  posts — the  contemptuous  turkey  at  the  goal,  and  the 
dispassionate  terrapin  a  hundred  yards  on  the  line.'  The 
turkey  was  to  give  the  signal  for  starting  by  a  loud  gobble. 
The  signal  was  given,  and  the  race 'was  opened.  The  turkey 
soon  came  up  with  the  terrapin,  who  had  gotten  but  a  few 
feet  from  his  goal,  and  shouted  derisively  as  he  passed  by 
"What  a  fool!" 

To  which  the  terrapin  ejaculated — "Not  as  big  as  you 
imagine."  The  confident  turkey  ran  on  about  half  way,  and 
then  stopped  and  turned  off  a  little  distance  to  secure  his 
breakfast,  but  kept  an  eye  on  the  track  that  the  terrapin 
might  not  pass  unobserved.  After  feeding  about  some  time 
and  not  seeing  any  thing  of  the  terrapin,  he  began  to  fear  he 
had  passed  him  unobserved;  therefore,  he  started  again  at 
full  speed;  and  not'overtaking  the  terrapin  as  he  expected, 
he  redoubled  his  exertions  and  reached  the  goal  breathless, 
but  to  find  the  terrapin  with  the  white  feather  in  his  mouth 
(his  supposed  opponent)  already  there,  Moral. — The  scorn 
ful  are  often  outwitted  by  those  upon  whom  they  look  with 

In  estimating'  character,  all  the  ancient  Indians  that  once 
lived  east  of  the  Mississippi  river,  if  the  statement  of  the 
early  writers  and  noble  missionaries  be  true,  and  he,  whose 
incredulity  would,make  him  doubt  their  statements  is  in 
capable  of  believing  any  thing — even  his  own  senses — regard 
ed  moral  worth  alone;  The  man  must  possess  truth,  honor, 
patriotism,  bravery,  hospitality  and  virtue  —  all  of  which 
seemed  intuitive  to  the  minds  and  hearts  of  those  North 
American  Indian's  of  the  south.  I  know  this  will  be  regarded 
by  thousands  of  my  own  race  as  untenable  ground.  Never 
theless,  I  speak  of  that  I  know — obtained  by  a  long  life, 
personal  acquaintance  with  the  Choctaws  ami  Chickasaws, 
and  the  same  acquaintance  with  different  missionaries  to  the 
Cherokees,  Muscogees  and  Seminoles,  all  sustained  by  the 
great  philanthorpist  Oglethorpe  and  the  noted  ministers  of 
the  gospel  John  and  Charles  Wesley,  and  George  Whitefield, 
and  their  missionary  successors  sent  out  to  the  Indians  by 
the  Presbyterian,  Methodist  and  Baptist  churches;  and  more, 
proving  beyond  doubt  the  susceptibility  of  the  Noi>th  Ameri 
can  Indians  to  easily  become  civilized  and  christianized. 

HISTORY    OF    THE    INDIANS.  225 

^f  In  the  disposition  of  their  dead,  the  ancient  Choctaws 
practiced  a  strange  method  different  from  any  other  Nation 
of  people,  perhaps,  that  ever  existed.  After  the  death  of  a 
Choctaw,  the  corpse  wrapped  in  a  bear  skin  or  rough  kind 
of  covering-  of  their  own  manufacture,  was  laid  out  at  full 
length  upon  a  high  scaffold  erected  near  the  house  of  the 
deceased,  that  it  might  be  protected  from  the  wild  beasts  of 
the  woods  and  the  scavengers  of  the  air.  After  the  body 
had  remained  upon  the  scaffold  a  sufficient  time  for  the  flesh' 
to  have  nearly  or  entirely  decayed,  the  Hattak  fullih  nipi 
foni.  (Bone  Picker)  the  principal  official  in  their  funeral  cere 
monies  and  especially  appointed  for  that  duty — appeared 
and  informed  the  relatives  of  the  deceased  that  he  had  now 
come  to  perform  the  last  sacred  duties  of  his  office  to  their 
departed  friend.  Then,  with  the  relatives  and  friends,  he 
marched  with  great  solemnity  of  countenance  to  the  scaffold 
and.  ascending  which,  began  his  awful  duty  of  picking  off  the 
flesh  that  still  adhered  to  the  bones,  "with  loud  groans 
and  fearful  grimaces,  to  which  the  friends  below  responded 
in  cries  and  wailings. 

The  Bone-Picker  never  trimmed  the  nails  of  his  thumbs, 
index  and  middle  fingers  which  accordingly-  grew  to  an  as 
tonishing  length — sharp  and  almost  as  hard  as  flint — and  well 
adapted  to  the  horrid  business  of  their  owner's  calling. 
After  he  had  picked  all  the  flesh  from  the  bones,  he  then 
tied  it  up  in  a  bundle  and  carefully  laid  it  upon  a  corner  of 
the  scaffold;  then  gathering  up  the  bones  in  his  arms  he  de 
scended  and  placed  them  in  a  previously  prepared  box,  and 
then  applied  fire  to  the  scaffold,  upon  which  the  assembly 
gazed  uttering  the  most  frantic  cries  and  moans  until  it  was 
entirely  consumed.  Then  forming  a  procession  headed  by 
the  Bone-Picker  the  box  containing  the  bones  was  carried, 
amid  weeping  and  wailing,  and  deposited  in  a  house  erected 
and  consecrated  to  that  purpose  and  called  A-bo-ha  fo-ni, 
(Bone-house)  with  one  of  which  all  villages  and  towns  were 
supplied.  Then  all  repaired  to  a  previously  prepared  feast, 
over  which  the  Bone-Picker,  in  virtue  of  his  office,  presided 
with  much  gravity  and  silent  dignity. 

As  soon  as  the  bone-houses  of  the  neighboring  villages 
were  filled,  a  general  burial  of  the  bones  took  place,"to  which 
funeral  ceremony  the  people  came  from  far  and  near,  and, 
in  a  long  and  imposing  procession,  with  weeping  and  wailing 
and  loud  lamentations  of  the  women,  bore  off  the  boxes  of 
bones  to  their  last  place  of  rest,  and  there  despositing  them 
in  the  form  of  a  pyramid  they  were  covered  with  earth  three 
or  four  feet  in  depth  forming  a  conical  mound.  All  then 


returned  to  a  previously  designated   village   and   concluded 
the  day  in  feasting-. ''V.. 

Thus  many  of  the  mounds  found  in  Mississippi  and 
Alabama  are  but  the  cemeteries  of  the  ancient  Choctaws; 
since,  as  often  as  the  bone-houses  became  filled,  the  boxes  of 
bones  were  carried  out  to  the  same  cemetery  and  deposited 
on  the  previously  made  heap  commencing-  at  the  base  and 
ascending  to  the  top,  each  deposit  being  covered  up  with 
earth  to  the  depth  of  three  or  four  feet,  and  thus,  by  con 
tinued  accession  through  a  long  series  of  ages,  became  the 
broad  and  high  mounds,  concerning  which  there  has  been  so 
much  wild  speculation  with  so  little  foundation  for  truth  or 
common  sense.  Even  at  the  time  the  missionaries  were 
established  among  them  (1818),  many  of  the  mounds  were  of 
so  recent  date  that  not  even  bushes  were  growing  upon  them, 
though  the  custom  of  thus  laying  away  their  dead  had  become 
obsolete:  still  a  few  Bone-Pickers  had  survived  the  fall  of 
their  calling,  and  were  seen,  here  and  there,  wandering  about 
from  village  to  village  as  ghosts  of  a  departed  age,  with  the 
nails  of  the  thumb,  index  and  middle  fingers  still  untrimmed, 
and  whose  appearance  indicated  their  earthly  pilgrimage  had 
reached  nearly  to  a  century,  some  of  whom  I  personally 

Shortly  before  the  advent  of  the  missionaries,  the  cus 
tom  of  placing  the  dead  upon  the  scaffolds  was  abolished, 
though  not  without  much 'opposition;  and  that  of  burial  in  a 
sitting  posture  was  adopted,  with  also  new  funeral  ceremon 
ies,  which  were  as  follows:  Seven  men  were  appointed 
whose  duty  it  was  to  set  up  each  a  smooth  pole  (painted  red) 
around  the  newly  made  grave,  six  of  which  were  about  eight 
feet  high,  and  the  seventh  about  fifteen,  to  which  thirteen 
hoops  (made  of  grape  vines)  were  suspended  and  so  united 
as  to  form  a  kind  of  ladder,  while  on  its  top  a  small  white 
flag  was  fastened.  This  ladder  of  hoops  was  for  the  easier 
ascent  of  the  spirit  of  the  deceased  to  the  top  of  the  pole, 
whence,  the  friends  of  the  deceased  believed,  it  took  its  final 
departure  to  the  spirit  land. 

They  also  believed  that  the  spirits  of  the  dead,  after  their 
flight  from  the  top  of  the  pole  to  the  unknown  world,  had  to 
cross  a  fearful  river  which  stretched1  its  whirling  waters 
athwart  their  way;  that  this  foaming  stream  has  but  one 
crossing,  at  which  a  cleanly  peeled  sweet-gum  log,  perfectly 
round,  smooth  and  slippery,  reached  from  bank  to  bank; 
that  the  moment  the  spirit  arrives  at  the  log,  it  is  attacked 
by  two  other  spirits  whose  business  is  to  keep  any  and  all 
spirits  from  crossing  thereon.  But  if  a  spirit  is  that  of  a 
good  person,  the  guardians  of  the  log  have  no  power  over  it, 


and  it  safely  walks  over  the  log  to  the  opposite  shore,  where 
it  is  welcomed  by  other  spirits  of  friends  gone  before, 
and  where  contentment  and  happiness  will  forever  be  the  lot 
of  all. 

But  alas,  when  the  spirit  of  a  bad  person  arrives  at  the 
log-crossing-  of  the  fearful  river,  it  also  is  assailed  by  the 
ever  wakeful  guards,  and  as  it  attempts  to  walk  the  slippery 
log  they, push  it  off  into  the  surging  waters  below,  to  be  help 
lessly  borne  down  by  the  current  to  a  cold  and  barren  des 
ert,  where  but  little  game  abounds  and  over  which  he  is 
doomed  to  wander,  a  forlorn  hope,  naked,  cold  and  hungry. 

When  a  death  was  announced,  which  was  made  by  the 
firing  of  guns  in  quick  succession,  the  whole  village  and  sur 
rounding  neighborhood — almost  to  a  man — assembled  at 
once  at  the  home  of  the  deceased,  to  console  and  mourn  with 
the  bereaved.  On  the  next  day  a  procession  was  formed 
headed  by  seven  men  called  Fabussa  Sholih  (Pole-bearer), 
each  carrying  on  his  shoulder  a  long,  slender  pole  painted 
red,  and  all  slowly  and  in  profound  silence  marched  to  the 
grave,  where  the  poles  were  at  once  firmly  set  up  in  the 
ground — three  on  each  side  of  the  grave,  and  one  at  the  head, 
on  which  thirteen  hoops  were  suspended  while  on  its  top  a 
small  white  flag  fluttered  in  the  breeze.  The  corpse  was 
then  carefully  placed  in  its  last  earthly  place  of  rest,  the 
grave  filled  up,  and  all  returned  to  the  former  home  of  the 
departed.  They  had  specified  cries  at  the  grave  of  the  de 
ceased,  which  continued  for  thirteen  moons.  At  the  termi 
nation  of  each  cry,  a  hoop  was  taken  off  of  the  pole,  and  so 
on  until  the  last  one  was  removed;  then  a  grand  funeral  cere 
mony  was  celebrated  called  Fabussa  halut  akuchchih,  (pole 
to  pull  down).  And  the  manager  of  the  pole-pulling  was  call 
ed  Hattak  iti  i  miko,  (their  chief  man);  and  the  hunters  sent 
out  to  provide  venison  for  the  company  on  that  occasion, 
were  called  Hattak  (man)  illi  (dead)  chohpa  (meat).  That  is, 
meat  for  the  dead  man;  or,  more  properly,  meat  for  the  obse 
quies  of  the  dead  man. 

To  this  celebration,  or  last  commemoration  the  dead, 
when  all  had  assembled,  the  Fabussa  halulli,  (the  same  Fa- 
"bussa  Sholih  who  'had  set  up  the  poles)  under  the  command 
of  the  Hattak  iti  i  miko  (the  same  who  bore  and  set  up  the 
long  pole  upon  which  was  attached  the  hoops  and  flag)  slowly 
and  silentl3T  marched  in  solemn  procession  to  the  grave  and 
pulled  up  the  poles,  and  carried  them  off  together  with  the 
hoops  and  concealed  them  in  a  secret  place  in  the  forest 
where  they  were  left  to  return  to  dust  forever  undisturbed. 

As  soon  as  the  Fabussa  Hallulli  had  disposed  of  the 
poles  and  hoops,  preparations  were  begun  for  the  finale — a 


feast  and  the  grandrAboha  hihlah,  home  dancing-,  or  dancing- 
home  of  the  deceased  good  man  to  the  land  of  plenty  and 
happiness,  and  the  bad  man  to  the  land  of  scarcity  and  suf 

The  festivities  continued  during-  the  day  and  the  night 
following"  the  pole-pulling".  On  the  next  morning-  all  returned 
to  their  respective  homes;  and  from  that  day  he  or  she  of  the 
grave  became  a  thing'of  the  past,  whose  names  were  to  be 
mentioned  no  more.  And  they  were  not. 

Among-  the  ancient  Choctaws,  a  mare  and  colt,  cow  and 
calf,  and  a  sow  and  pig's  were  given  to  each  child  at  its  birth, 
if  the  parents  were  able  so  to  do, — and  all,  with  few  excep 
tions,  were  able;  this  stock,  with  its  increase  under  no  cir 
cumstances  whatever,  could  be  disposed  of  in  any  way;  and 
when  he  or  she,  as  the  case  might  be,  became  grown,  the 
whole  amount  was  formally  conveyed  over  to  him  or  her. 
Thus  when  a  young-  couple  started  out  in  life  they  had  a 
plenty  of  stock,  if  nothing-  more. 

Diseases,  they  believed,  originated  in  part  from  natural 
causes,  therefore  their  doctors  sought  in  nature  for  the 
remedies.  Graver  maladies,  to  them,  were  inexplicable,  and 
for  their  cures  they  resorted  to  their  religious  superstitions 
and  incantations.  They  were  very  skillful  in  their  treat 
ment  of  wounds,  snake  bites,  etc.,  Their  knowledge  of  the 
medicinal  qualities  of  their  various  plants  and  herbs,  in 
wrhich  their  forests  so  bountifully  abounded,  was  very  great. 
'Tis  true  they  were  powerless  against  the  attacks  of  many 
diseases— importations  of  the  White  Race,  such  as  small-pox, 
measles,  whooping-cough,  etc;  yet,  thev  did  not  exhibit  any 
greater  ignorance  in  regard  to  those  new  diseases,  to  them 
unknown  before,  than  do  the  doctors  of  the  White  Race,  who 
have  had  the  experience  of  ages  which  has  been  handed 
down  to  them  through  the  art  of  printing,  manifest  in  regard 
to  the  new  diseases  that  so  oft  attack  their  own  race.  The 
art  of  blood-letting  and  scarifying  was  well  understood  and 
practiced  by  many  of  their  doctors,  as  well  as  the  virtue  of 
cold  and  warm  baths;  and  in  many  of  the  healing-  arts  they 
fell  not  so  far  below  those  of  the  White  Race  as  might  be 
HUpgosed,  though  many  wrhite  doctors  imagine  themselves 
perfect  in  the  healing  art,  since  forsooth  their  diplomas 
coast  the  signatures  of  the  medical  faculties  in  the  world.. 

In  cases  of  bowel  affections  they  use  persimmons  dried 
by  the  heat  of  the  sun  and  mixed  with  a  light  kind  of  bread. 
In  case  of  sores,  they  applied  a  poultice  of  pounded  ground 
ivy  for  a  few  days,  then  carefully  washing'  the  afflicted  part 
with  the  resin  of  the  copal-tree.  For  fresh  wounds  they 
made  a  poultice  of  the  root  of  the  cotton-tree  which  proved 


very  efficacious;  to  produce  a  copious  perspiration,  a  hot 
decoction  of  the  China  root  swallowed,  had  the  desired  effect. 
They  possessed  an  antidote  for  the  bite  and  sting-  of  snakes 
and  insects,  in  the  root  of  a  plant  called  rattle  snake's  master, 
having-  a  pungent  yet  not  unpleasant  odor.  The  root  of  the 
plant  was  chewed,  and  also  a  poultice  made  of  it  was  applied 
to  the  wound,  which  at  once  checked  the  poison  and  the 
patient  was  well  in  a  few  days.  The  medical  properties  of 
the  sassafras,  sarsaparilla,  and  other  medicinal  plants,  were 
known  to  them.  They  possessed  many  valuable  secrets  to 
cure  dropsy,  rheumatism,  and  many  other  diseases,  which, 
no  doubt,  will  ever  remain  a  secret  with  them,  proving-  that 
their  powers  of  observation,  investigation  and  discrimination, 
are  not,  by  any  means,  to  be  regarded  as  contemptible; 
while  their  belief,  that  the  Great  Spirit  has  provided  a 
remedy  in  plants  for  all  diseases  to  which  poor  humanity 
seems  an  heir,  and  never  refuses  to  make  it  known  to  those 
who  seek  the  knowledge  of  it  by  proper  supplications,  is 
praiseworthy  in  them  to  say  the  least  of  it. 

Their  doctors  were  held  in  great  veneration,  though 
they  oft  practiced  upon  their  patrons  many  frauds.  Mill- 
fort,  p.  298,  says:  "when  one  of  them  had  a  patient  on  hand 
a  long  time,  and  the  poor  sick  fellow's  means  had  been  ex 
hausted  he  privately  told  the  relatives  that  his  skill  was  ex 
hausted,  that  he  had  done  all  in  his  power  to  no  avail,  and 
that  their  friend  must  die  within  a  few  days  at  farthest;  and, 
with  great  seeming  sympathy,  set  forth  the  propriety  of 
killing-  him,  and  so  terminate  his  sufferings  at  once.  Having 
the  utmost  confidence  in  the  doctor's  judgment  and  knowl 
edge  of  the  case,  and  also  believing  the  case  hopeless,  the 
poor  fellow  was  at  once  killed."  In  proof  of  this,  he  states 
that  in  1772  a  doctor  thus  advised  concerning  one  of  his  pa 
tients.  "The  sick  man,"  he  says,  "suspecting,  from  the 
actions  of  his  physician,  that  he  was  advising  the  propriety 
of  ending  his  suffering  by  having  him  killed,  with  great  effort 
succeeded  one  night  in  crawling  out  of  the  house  and  making 
good  his  escape.  After  much  suffering  he  succeeded  in 
making  his  way  into  the  Muscogee  Nation,  and  fortunately 
went  to  the  house  of  Col.  McGillivry,  who,  Samaritan  like, 
took  him  in^o  his  house,  and  soon  restored  him  to  his  usual 
health.  At  the  expiration  of  several  months  he  returned  to 
his  home,  and  found  his  relatives  actually  celebrating  his 
funeral  by  burning  the  scaffold  which  they  had  erected  to  his 
memory,  with  the  accustomed  weeping  and  wailing, — -^be 
lieving  him  to  be  dead.  His  unlocked  for  appearance  among 
them,  at  that  solemn  hour  and  place,  threw  them  into  the 
.greatest  consternation,  and,  in  horror  and  wild  dismay,  all 


fled  to  the  woods.  Finding-  himself  thus  received  by  his 
own  relatives  and  friends,  he  returned  in  disgust  to  the^ 
Muscogees  and  spent  the  remainder  of  his  days  among 
them.  But  when  his  relatives  had  become  truly  satisfied 
that  he  did  not  die,  and  was  actually  alive  and  well,  they 
made  the  doctor  pay -heavily  for  the  deception  he  had  prac 
ticed  upon  them,  by  killing  him." 

The  greatest  mortality  among  them  was  most  generally 
confined  to  the  young-er  children;  while  longevity  was  a 
prominent  characteristic  among  the  adults.  After  the  age  of 
six  or  eight  years  the  mortality  of  disease  among  them  -was 
less  than  among  the  white  children  of  the  present  day  after 
that  age.  But  after  those  baneful  diseases,  scarlet  fever, 
measles,  mumps,  whooping-cough,  diseases  unknown  to  them 
before,  had  been  introduced  among  them,  the  fatality  among 
the  children  was  distressing,  frequently  destroying  the 
greater  number  of  the  children  in  a  village  or  neighborhood; 
—being  wholly  ignorant  as  they  were  of  the  proper  mode  of 
treatment  was  a  great  cause  of  the  fearful  fatality.  Mental 
or  nervous  diseases  were  unknown  to  the  ancient  Choctaws; 
and  idiocy  and  deformity  were  seldom  seen.  But  of  all  the 
"diseases"  introduced  among  them  by  the  white?,  the  most 
pernicious  and  fatal  in  all  its  features,  bearings,  and  con 
sequences,  to  the  Choctaw  people,  was,  is,  and  ever  \vill  be, 
Okahumma  (red  water  or  whiskey);  which,  when  once 
formed  into  habit,  seemed  to  grow  to  a  species  of  insanity 
equal  even  to  that  so  often  exhibited  among  the  whites. 

"The  Medicine  Man,"  was  a  dignitary  who  swayed  his 
scepter  alike  among  all  Indians,  but  was  altogether  a  very  dif 
ferent  personage  from  the  common  physician.  The  Medicine 
Man  professed  an  insight  into  the  hidden  laws  of  Nature;  he 
professed  a  power  over  the  elements,  the  fish  of  the  waters 
and  the  animals  of  the  land;  he  could  cause  the  fish  to  volun 
tarily  suffer  themselves  to  be  caught,  and  give  success  to  the 
hunter  by  depriving  the  denizens  of  the  forest  of  their  natural 
fear  of  man;  he  could  impart  bravery  to  the  heart  of  the  war 
rior,  strength  and  skill  to  his  arm  and  fleetness  to  his  feet; 
yea,  could  put  to  flight  the  evil  spirits'  of  disease  from  the 
bodies  of  the  sick.  He  could  throw  a  spell  or  charm  over  a 
ball  player  that  would  disenable  him  to  hit  the  post;  or  over 
the  ball-post  that  would  prevent  its  being  hit  by  anyone 
whom  he  wished  to  defeat.  Such  were  the  professed  attain 
ments  of  the  Indian  "Medicine  Man."  But  whether  he 
possessed  all  or  any  of  the  supernatural  powers  he  profess 
ed,  it  matters  not,  it  is  certain,  however,  that  he  possessed 
one  thing,  the  power,  art,  or  skill,  call  it  which  you  may,  to 
make  his  people  believe  it,  and  that  was  all-sufficient  for  him 


— even  as  it  is  with  all.  humbug's.  The  Choctaws  regarded 
dreams  as  the  direct  avenues  to  the  invisible  world,  the  divine 
revelations  of  the  Great  Spirit.  If  a  vision  of  the  spirit  of  an 
animal  appeared  to  the  hunter  in  his  dream,  he  felt  confident 
of  success  on  the  morrow's  hunt.  But  though  he  invoked  the 
friendship,  the  protection  and  the  good  will  of  spirits,  and 
besought  the  mediation  of  the  Medicine  Man,  he  never  would 
confess  his  fear  of  death.  But  chide  not  too  harshly,  reader, 
the  poor,  unlettered  Indian  for  his  superstitions  and  wild 
beliefs,  for  the  same  long  existed  among  the  civilized  Na 
tions  of  the  world,  nor  are  they  entirely  exempt  even  at  the 
present  day,  nor  is  it  likely  they  ever  will  be. 

They  lived  in  houses  made  of  logs,  but  very  comfortable; 
not  more  rude  or  uncouth,  however,  than  many  of  the  whites 
even  of  the  present  day.  Their  houses  consisted  generally 
of  two  rooms,  both  of  which  were  used  for  every  domestic 
purpose — cooking,  eating,  living  and  sleeping;  nor  was  their 
furniture  disproportionate  with  that  of  the  dwelling — for  the 
sitting  room,  a  stool  or  two;  for  the  kitchen,  a  pot  or  kettle, 
two  or  three  tin  cups,  a  large  and  commodious  wooden  bowl, 
and  a  horn  spoon,  constituted  about  the  ultimatum — 'twas  all 
they  needed,  all  they  wanted,  and  with  it  they  were  perfectly 
contented  and  supremely  happy. 

Tafula;  (pro.  Tarm-ful-ah,"  hominy;  corrupted  to  Tom- 
fuller),  is  made  of  pounded  corn  boiled,  using  lye  for  fermen 
tation,  and  tafula  tobi  ibulhtoh  (boiled  corn  mixed  with 
beans)  were,  and  are  to  the  present  day,  favorite  dishes 
among  the  Choctaws;  nor  need  it  be  thought  strange,  as  they 
are  dishes  Worthy  the  palate  of  the  most  fastidious.  The 
taf  ula,their  favorite  and  indispensable  dish  was  put  into  a  large 
bowl,  around  which  all  gathered,  and  each  in  turn  using  the 
horn  spoon  to  replenish  his  waiting  mouth  with  the  coveted 
luxury.  But  little  pains  was  taken  in  the  preparation  of 
their  food,  which  was  as  rude,  though  clean  and  nice,  as  the 
means  of  preparing  it.  Having  no  tables  or  dishes,  except 
the  wooden  bowl,  nor  knives  and  forks,  they  squatted  around 
the  pot  of  boiled  meat  and  bowl  of  tafula,  and  each  used  his 
or  her  fingers  in  extracting  the  contents  of  the  pot,  and  con 
veying  it  to  the  mouth,  and  the  horn  spoon  by  turns  in 
doing  obeisance  to  the  tafula — all  in  perfect  harmony  and 

They  use  another  preparation/ for  food  called  Botah 
Kapussa,  (cold  flour)  which  was  made  of  parched  corn 
pounded  very  fine;  an  ounce  of  which  mixed  with  a  little 
water  would  in  a  few  minutes  become  as  thick  as  soup  cooked 
by  a  fire.  Two  or  three  ounces  of  this  were  sufficient  to 
sustain  a  man  for  a  day.-  In  their  war  expeditions  it 


was  an  indispensable  adjunct — the  .sine  qua  non — to  the 
warrior's  bill  of  fare,  as  they  could  not  shoot  game  with  the 
rifle  when  upon  the  war-path  in  their  enemy's  territories  for 
fear  of  giving  notice  of  their  presence.  Bunaha  was  another 
food  much  used  in  the  long  ago.  It  was  made  ,  of  pounded 
meal  mixed  with  boiled  beans  to  which  is  added  a  little  lye, 
then  made  into  a  dough  wrapped  in  corn  husks  and  boiled. 
Oksak  (hickory  nut),  atapah  (broken  in)  is  still  another;  this 
was  made  of  pounded  meal  mixed  with  the  meat  of  the 
hickory  nut  instead  of  boiled  beans,  and  cooked  as  buiiaha. 
I  have  eaten  the  three  kinds,  and  found  them  very  palatable. 

They  were  great  lovers  of  tobacco;  yet  never  chewed  it, 
but  confined  its  use  exclusively  to  the  pipe,  in  which  they 
smoked  the  weed  mixed  with  the  dried  leaf  of  the  aromatic 
sumac,  which  imparted  to  the  smoke  a  delightful  flavor, 
agreeable  even  to  the  most  fastidious  nose.  But  they  now 
have  learned  to  chew,  which  I  ascertained  by  actual  observa 
tion,  when  riding  over  their  country  visiting  them  during 
the  year  1884  to  18(JO.  Frequently  I  have  ridden  several  miles 
with  different  Choctaws,  with  whom  I  accidental!}'  fell  in  com 
pany,  and  to  whom  }  offered  a  chew  of  tobacco,  which  was 
frequently  accepted;  and  I  noticed  they  chewed  it  with  as 
much  apparent  delight  and  gusto,  as  their  white  brothers, 
proving  themselves  worthy  rivals  in  the  accomplished  art. 
However,  I  could  state^that  the  habit  is  not  as  universal,  by 
great  odds,  as  among  the  white. 

All  the  drudgery  work  about  the  house  and  the  hunting' 
camp  was  done  by  the  wife  assisted  by  her  children;  and  as 
the^wife  of  the  Choctaw  warrior  and  hunter  was  regarded  as 
the  slave  of  her  husband,  so  likewise  may  equally  be 
regarded  the  unfortunate  wives  of  many  oi"  the  boasted 
civilized  white  men  of  this  19th  century. 

With  the  Choctaw  wife,  as  with  all  Indians,  parturition 
was  matter  that  gave  no  uneasiness  whatever;  nor  did  it 
interfere  with  her  domestic  affairs,  but  for  a  few  hours. 
Unlike  her  civilized  sister,  she  neither  required  nor  desired, 
nor  accepted  any  assistance  whatever.  I  have  known  them 
to  give  birth  to  a  child  during  the  night,  and  the  next  morn 
ing  would  find  them  at  the  cov/pen  attending  to  the  affairs 
of  the  dairy.  To  have. a  man  physician,  on  such  occasions, 
was  as  abhorrent  to  her  sense  of  modesty  and  revolting  to  her 
feelings,  as  it  was  wholly  unnecessary.  And  the  old  cus 
tom  is  still  adhered  to  by  the  present  Choctaw  wife  and 
mother.  After  a  child  was  born,  after  undergoing  the  usual 
necessary  preliminaries,  it  was  placed  in  a  curiously  con 
structed  receptacle  called  Ullosi  afohka,  (infant  receptacle) 
where,  it  spent  principally  the  first  year  of  its  life,  only 


when  taken  out  for  »the  purpose  of  washing  and  dressing1. 
This  curiously  made  little  cradle  (for  such  it  may  truly  be 
called)  was  often  highly  ornamented  with  all  the  pharapher- 
nalia  that  a  mother's  love  and  care\ could  suggest  or  obtain. 
The  little  fellow's  face,  which  was  always  exposed  to  view, 
was  carefully  protected  by  a  piece  of  wood  bent  a  few  inches 
above  and  over  it.  Contented  as  Diogenes  in  his  tub,  the 
babe  would  remain  in  its  little  prison  for  hours  without  a 
whimper;  part  of  the  time  asleep,  and  part  of  the  time  awake 
looking  around  in  its  innocence  with  calm  and  tranquil 
resignation.  According  to  her  convenience,  the  mother  sus 
pended  her  thus  cradled  child  on  her  back,  when  walking, 
or  the  saddle  when  riding;  or  stood  it  up  against  a  neighbor 
ing  tree,  if  a  pleasant  day,  that  it  might  enjoy  the  fresh  and 
pure  air,  and  exhilarating  sunshine;  or  suspend  it  to  the 
projecting  limb  of  a  tree  there  to  be  rocked  to  sleep  and 
pleasant  dreams  by  the  forest  breeze.  As  soon  as  it  was 
old  enough  to  begin  to  crawl,  it  bade  an  informal  adieu 
to  its  former  prison,  but  to  be  found  perched  upon  its  moth 
er's  back,  wliere  it  seemed  well  contented  in  all  its  journeys 
— long  or  short.  It  was  truly  astonishing  with  what  appar 
ent  ease  the  Choctaw  mother  carried  her  child  upon  her  back. 
The  child  was  placed  high  up  between  the  shoulders  of  the 
mother,  and  over  it  was  thrown  a  large  blanket,  which  was 
drawn  tightly  at  the  front  of  the  mother's  neck,  forming  a 
fold  behind;  in  this  the  child  was  placed  and  safely  carried, 
with  seemingly  little  inconvenience  to  either  mother  or  child. 
When  the  little  chap  had  grown  to  such  proportions  as  to  be 
no  longer  easily  thus  transported,  he  was  fastened  to  the 
saddle  upon  the  back  of  a  docile  pony,  which  follower  the 
company  at  pleasure;  though  here  and  there  stopping 
momentarily  to  bite  the  tempting  grass  that  grew  along  the 
pathway,  then  briskly  trotting  up  until  it  had  again  reached 
its  proper  place  in  rank  and  file,  indifferent  to  the  jolting 
experienced  by  the  youthful  rider  tied  upon  its  back,  who, 
ho\vever,  seemed  to  regard  it  with  stoical  indifference. 
When  arrived  at  the  age  of  four  or  five  years,  he  was  con 
sidered  as  having  passed  through  his  fourth  and  last  chrys 
alis  stage,  and  was  then  untied  from  the  saddle  and  bid  ride 
for  himself;  and  soon  did  the  young  horseman  prove  himself 
a  true  scion  of  the  parent  tree,  as  a  fearless  and  skillful 

Though  the  Allosi  afohka  has  long  since  passed  away 
with  other  ancient  customs,  still  the  Choctaw  mother  carries 
her  child  upon  her  back  as  she  of  a  century  ago,  and  loves  it 
with  the  same  fond-'and  strong  love;  and  though  she  did  not, 
nor  does  not,  express  it  by  any  outward  manifestations,  yet 


her  love  was  and  is  real,  perfect  and  constant;  nor  was  she 
ever  known  to  trust  her  babe  to  a  hired  nurse.  The  love 
for  their  children  and  untiring-  devotion  to  their  homes  and 
families,  and  their  profound  regard  for  the  aged,  were  in 
deed  beautiful  and  touching  traits  in  the  characteristics  of 
the  Choctaw  women.  In  fact,  the  great  respect  and  uniform 
kindness  paid  by  the  Indians  everywhere,  and  under  all  cir 
cumstance,  to  the  aged  of  their  people,  might  justly  bring 
the  blush  of  shame  upon  the  face  of  many  of  the  young  twigs 
of  the  professed  enlightened  white  race.  The  Choctaw 
women  of  years  ago  were  a  merry,  light-hearted  race,  and 
their  constant  laugh  and  incessant  prattle  formed  a  strange 
contrast  to  the  sad  taciturnity  of  the  present  day.  The 
easily  conjectured  cause  precludes  the  necessity  of  being 
mentioned  here. 

Adair  (p.  89)  says;  "the  Choctaws,  in  an  early  day, 
practiced  the  custom  of  flattening  the  heads  of  their  infants 
by-  compression,  and  were  first  known  to  the  whites  by  the 
name  of  Flat  Heads."  Be  that  as  it  may,  the  custom  had 
long  ceased  to  be  practiced,  when  later  known. 

Wherever  they  went,  distant  or  otherwise,  many  or 
few,  they  always  traveled  in  a  straight  line,  one  behind  the 
other.  (  They  needed  no  broad  roads,  nor  had  they  any; 
hence,  they  dispensed  with  the  necessity  of  that  expense, 
road-working,  so  grudgingly  bestowed  by  all  white  men. 
Paths  alone,  plain  and  straight,  then  led  the  Choctaws  where 
now  are  broads  roads  and  long  high  bridges,  from  village  to 
neighborhood,  and  from  neighborhood  to  village,  though  many 
iniles  apart;  and  so  open  and  free  of  logs,  bushes,  and  all 
fallen  timber,  was  their  country  then,  rendered  thus  by  their 
annual  burning  off  of  the  woods,  it  was  an  easy  matter  to  travel 
in  any  direction  and  any  distance,  except  through  the  vast 
cane-brakes  that  covered  all  the  bottom  lands,  which  alone 
could  be  passed  by  paths. 

On  hunting  excursions,  when  a  party  moved  their  camp 
to  another  point  in  the  woods,  whether  far  or  near,  they 
invariably  left  a  broken  bush  with  the  top  leaning  in  the 
direction  they  had  gone,  readily  comprehended  by  the  practi 
ced  eyeof  the  Choctaw  hunter .  They  kept  ona  straight  line  to 
where  a  turn  was  made,  and  whatever  angle  there  taken,  they 
travelled  it  in  a  straight  line,  but  left  the -broken  bush  at  the 
turn  indicating  the  direction  they  had  taken.  If  a  wandering- 
hunter  happens  to  stumble  upon  the  late  deserted  camp  and 
desired  to  join  its  former  occupants,  the  broken  but  silent 
bush  gave  him  the  information  as  to  the  direction  they  had 
gone.  .He  took  it  and  traveled  in  a  straight  line  perhaps  for 
several  miles;  when  suddenly  his  ever  watchful  eye  saw  a 


broken  bush  with  its  top  leaning  in  another  direction.  He  at 
once  interpreted  its  mystic  language — "Here  a  turn  was 
made."  He  too  made  the  turn  indicated  by  the  bush;  and 
thus  traveled  through  the  unbroken  forest  for  miles,  directed 
alone  by  his  silent  but  undeviating  guide,  which  was  sure  to 
lead  him  to  his  desired  object. 

All  North  American  Indians,  have  always  held  their  lands 
in  common;  occupancy  alone  giving'  the  right  of  possession,  a 
custom  peculiar  to  the  North  American  Indians,  and  a  living 
proof  of  practical  communism,  as  far  as  land  is  concerned,  at 
least.  When  a  Choctaw  erected  a  house  upon  a  spot  of 
ground,  and  prepared  a  few  acres  for  his  corn,  beans,  potatoes, 
etc.,  so  long  as  he  resided  upon  it  as  his  home,  it  was  exclus 
ively  his,  and  his  rights  were  strictly  respected  by  all;  but  if 
he  left  it  and  moved  to  another  place,  then  his  claim  to  his 
forsaken  home  was  forfeited;  and  whoever  saw  proper  could 
go  and  take  possession;  nor  was  the  second  occupant  expected 
to  remunerate  the  first  for  the  labor  he  had  done.  However, 
if  No.  1,  afterward  should  desire  to  return  to  his  previous 
home  he  could  do  so,  provided  no  one  had  taken  possession.. 
The  present  time,  if  one  improves  a  place  and  leaves  it,  no  one 
has  the  right  to  take  possession  of  the  deserted  place  without, 
permission  of  the  one  who  improved  it. 

The  famous  little  Choctaw  pony  was  a  veritable  forest 
camel  to  the  Choctaw  hunter,  as  the  genuine  animal  is  to  the 
sons  of  Ishmael.  His  unwearied  patience,  and  his  seemingly 
untiring  endurance  of  hardships  and  fatigue,  were  truly 
astonishing — surpassing,  according  to  his  inches,  every  other 
species  of  his  race — and  proving  himself  to  be  a  worthy  de 
scendant  of  his  ancient  parent,  the  old  Spanish  war-horse, 
introduced  by  the  early  Spanish  explorers  of  the  continent. 
In  all  the  Choctaws'  expeditions,  except  those  of  war  in 
which  they  never  used  horses,  the  chubby  little  pony  always, 
was  considered  an  indispensable  adjunct,  therefore  always, 
occupied  a  conspicuous  place  in  the  cavalcade.  A  packsaddle 
which  Choctaw  ingenuity  had  invented  expressly  for  the 
benefit  of  the  worthy  little  fellow's  back,  and  finely  adapted 
in  every  particular  for  its  purpose,  was  firmly  fastened  upon 
his  back,  ready  to  receive  the  burden,  which  was  generally 
divided  into  three  parts,  each  weighing  from  forty  to  fifty 
pounds.  Two  of  these  were  suspended  across  the  saddle 
by  means  of  rawhide  rope  one-fourth  of  an  inch  in  diameter 
and  of  amazing  strength,  and  the  third  securely  fastened 
upon  the  top,  over  all  of  which  a  bear  or  deer  skin  was- 
spread,  which  protected  it  from  rain.  All  things  being 
ready,  the  hunter,  as  leader  and  protector,  took  his  position 
in  front,  sometimes  on  foot  and  sometimes  astride  a  pony  of 

236  HISTORY    OF    THE    INDIANS. 

such  diminutive  proportions,  that  justice  and  mercy  would 
naturally  have  suggested  a  reverse  in  the  order  of  thing's, 
and,  with  his  trusty  rifle  in  his  hand,  without  which  he  never 
went  anywhere,  took  up  the  line  of  march,,  and  directly  after 
whom,  in  close- order,  the  loaded  ponies  followed  in  regular 
succession  one  "behind  the  other,  while  the  dutiful  wife 
and  children  brought  up  the  rear  in  regular,  successive 
order,  often  with  from  three  to  five  children  on  a  single  pony 
—literally  hiding  the  submissive  little  fellow  from  view. 
Upon  the  neck  of  each  pony  a  little  bell  was  suspended, 
whose  tinkling  chimes  of  various  tones  broke  the  monotony 
of  the  desert  air,  and  added  cheerfulness  to  the  novel  scene. 
Long  accustomed  to  their  duty,  the  faithful  little  pack-ponies 
seldom  gave  any  trouble,  but  in  a  straight  line  followed  on 
after  their  mastery  sometimes,  however,  one  here  and  there, 
unable  to  withstand  the  temptation  of  the  luxuriant  grass 
that  offered  itself  so  freely  along  the  wayside,  would  make  a 
momentary  stop  to  snatch  a  bite  or  two,  but  the  shrill,  dis 
approving  voice" of  the  wife  in  close  proximitv  behind,  at  once 
reminded  him  of  his  dereliction  of  order  and  he  would  hastily 
trot  up  to  his  position;  and  thus  the  little  caravan,  with  the 
silence  broken  only  by  the  tinkling  pony  bells,  moved  on  amid 
the  dense  timber  of  their  majestic  forests,  until  the  declin 
ing  sun  gave  warning  of  the  near  approaching  night.  Then 
a  halt  was  made,  and  the  faithful  little  ponies,  relieved  of 
their  wearisome  loads  which  they  had  borne  throughout  the 
day  with  becoming  and  uncomplaining  patience,  were  set 
free  that  they  might  refresh  themselves  upon  the  grass  and 
cane — nature's  bounties  to  the  Indian — that  grew  and  cover 
ed  the  forests  in  wild  abundance.  Late  next  morning — (for 
who  ever  knew  an  Indian,  in  the  common  affairs  of  life,  to  be 
in  a  hurry  or  to  value  time?  Time!  He  sees  it  not;  he  feels 
it  not;  he  regards  it  not.  To  him  'tis  but  a  shadowy  name— 
a  succession  of  breathings,  measured  forth  by  the  change  of 
night  and  day  by  a  shadow  crossing  the  dial-path  of  life) 
the  rested  and  refreshed  ponies  were  gathered  in,  and,  each 
having  received  his  former  load,  again  the  tinkling  chimes  of 
the  pony  bells  alone  disturbed  the  quiet  of  the  then  far  ex 
tending  wilderness,  announcing  in  monotonous  tones  the 
onward  march,  as  the  day 'before,  of  the  contented  travelers; 
and  thus  was  the  journey  continued,  day  by  day,  until  the 
desired  point  was  reached. 

The  Indian  unlike  the  white  man,  often  received  a  new 
name  from  some  trivial  incident  or  some  extraordinary  ad 
venture,  which  frequently  occurred,  especially  in  their  wars. 
Anciently  the  Choctaws  and  Muscogees  were  uncompromis 
ing  enemies,  ever  making  raids  into  each  others  territories. 


At  one  time  a  Muscogee  party  invaded  the  Choctaw  countryy 
and  made  a  sudden  and  unexpected  attack  upon  a  band  of 
Choctaw  warriors.  The  Choctaws,  though  surprised,  made 
a  brave  resistance,  and,  after  a  short  but  furious  light,,  de 
feated  and  put  their  assailants  to  flight.  A  vigorous  pursuit 
at  once  ensued  in  which  a  fleet  young  Choctaw  warrior  nam 
ed  Ahaikahno,  (The  Careless)  had  far  in  advance  of  his 
comrades,  killed  a  MuscOgee,  and  was  in  the  act  of  scalping 
him,  when  two  Muscogee  warriors  turned  and  rushed  toward 
him  with  their  utmost  speed.  The  Choctaws  in  the  rear, 
seeing  the  danger  of  Ahaikahno,  who  was  ignorant  of  his 
two  fast  approaching  foes,  shouted  to  him  with  all  the 
strength  of  their  voices — Chikke-bulilih  chia!  Chikke  bulilih 
chia!  (pro.  Chik-ke  (Quickly)  bul-elih  (run)  che-ah  (3*011!). 
Ahaikahno,  hearing  the  shout  and  seeing  his  danger,  was 
not  slow  in  heeding  the  advice.  Ever  afterwards  Ahaikahno 
bore  the  additional  name  Chikke  Bulilih  Chia.  Both  parties 
lost  many  warriors  in  this  short  but  bloody  fight,  and  the 
little  mound  erected  by  the  Choctaws  over  the  common  grave 
of  their  slain  warriors  was  still  to  be  seen  down  to  the  \-ear 
of  the  Choctaw  migration  west,  in  1831-?2. 

Nearly  every  river,  creek,  lake,  rock,  hill  and  vale,  was 
endeared  to  them,  by  a  name  given  to  it  from  some  peculiar-' 
ity.  some  incident  or  adventure  of  the  past,  that  was  signifi 
cant  of  the  same;  and  in  which  were  embodied  the  remem 
brance  of  the  heroic  achievements  of  a  long"  line  of  ances 
try;  some  in  nature's  rocks,  mountains,  hills,  dells,  woods, 
and  waters;  while  others  took  substantial  form  in  the  im 
pressive  memorials  reared  by  loving  hearts  and  willing  nands 
in  the  form  of  mounds  over  their  dead.  Many  of  those  names 
were  beautifully  significant;  but  alas,  how  corrupted  b\T  the 
whites,  to  that  extent  indeed,  that  not  even  one  has  retained 
its  original  purity.  Think  you,  reader,  it  was  an  easy  matter 
for  the  Choctaws,  with  such  a  country*  as  the\r  then  posses^ 
sed,  endeared  to  them  by  ten  thousand  times  ten  thousand 
ties  as  strong  as  were  ever  interwoven  around-  the  human 
heart,  to  cut  loose  from  this  their  ancient  home,  and  set  sail 
on  an  unknown  sea  foij  distant  ports  in  an  unknown  land, ''and 
under  the  pilotage  of  those  pretended  friends,  who  they 
bad  found  could  not  be  trusted. 

Of  all  the  wild  animals  of  the  cane-brake,  the  wild  boar 
truly  merited  the  name  of  being  the-  most  dangerous,  when 
brought  to  bay,  the  panther  or  bear  not  excepted,  and  in  at 
tacking  him,  coolness  and  a  steady  nerve  were  as  necessary 
as  perfect  marksmanship.  In  this  kind  of  sport  a  novice  would 
always  find  it  the  better  part  of  valor  to  keep  in  mind  that 
"distance  lends  enchantment  to  the  view"  for  ke  seldom 


made  a  charge  without  leaving-  his  mark,  since  that  charge 
I  can  attest  by  frequent  observation,  was  no  child's  play.  One 
stroke  with  his  long,  keen  tusks,  was  all  he  wanted  to  kill  an 
offending  dog,  or  even  disembowel  a  horse;  and  woe  to  the 
hunter  that  carelessly  or  with  foolhardiness  approached  too 
near;  if  he  failed  to  make  a  dead-shot,  his  life  was  the  forfeit; 
for  with  the  rush  of  a  whirlwind,  and  the  agility  of  a  cat,  he 
sprang  from  his  lair,  and  more  sure  and  fatal  was  his  stroke 
as  he  passed,  than  the  stroke  of  a  dagger  in  the  hands  of  an 
enraged  man.  An  effectual  shot  was  only  made  by  shooting 
him  through  the  brain,  as  his  shoulders  were  protected  by 
a  massive  shield  extending  from  his  short  neck  two-thirds  of 
the  way  to  the  hips,  and  impervious  even  by  a  ball  shot  from 
-the  rifle  of  that  day;  his  enormous  head,  set  of  by  ears  about 
the  size  of  a  man's' hand,  standing  straight  up,  and  his  pow 
erful  jaws,  armed  with  four  fearful  tusks,  two  short  stubby 
ones  protruding  from  the  upper  and  two  long,  dagger-like 
ones  from  the  lower  lips,  with  a  backward  curve,  combined 
with  his  strength  and  activity,  rendered  him  a  formidable 
foe,  and  made  him  truly  the  monarch  of  the  Mississippi  cane- 
brake  70  years  ago.  From  his  short  legs  and  sluggish'  ap 
pearance,  when  secretly  seen  from  a  distance  moving  about 
at  his  leisure,  one  would  have  supposed  him  slow  in  point  of 
speed;  but  such  was  not  the  case.  For  as  soon  as  you  gave 
him  a  good  cause  to  bestir  himself,  he  did  it  to  such  a  good 
purpose  that  it  was  hard  for  a  common  horse  to  escape  his 
pursuit  for  a  short  distance,  or  to  overtake  him  in  his  flight. 
But  of  the  two  contingencies  the  latter,  so  far  as  the  hunter 
was  concerned,  was  immeasurably  the  safer;  since  his  temper 
was  as  short  as  his  legs,  and  very  little  indeed  sufficed  his 
boarship's  philosophy  to  constitute  sufficient  provocation,  to 
make  a  sudden  whirl,  present  and  about  face,  and  instantly 
make  a  furious  charge;  then,  if  the  horseman  was  not  as 
quick  to  make  the  turn,  there  was  a  collision,  always  to  the 
great  advantage  of  the  boar. 

To  intrude  upon  his  retreat  when  at  bay,  even  though 
no  malicious  propensities  had  been  proven  against  the  tres 
passer,  was  madness;  for  he  charged  the  intruder  without 
hesitation  and  with  positively  such  terrific  impetuosity  that 
proved  there  was  no  reservation  about  his  conduct  nor 
opportunity  intended  to  be  given  to  the  incautious  visitor  for 
making  any  mistake  as  to  his  intentions;  and  he  then  and 
there  learned  to  his  entire  satisfaction  that,  if  he  intended  to 
have  apologized  to  his  boarship,  it  would  be  policy  to  do  so  in 
writing  at  some  future  day;  as,  at  that  moment,  it  was  de 
cidedly  the  best  to  get  out  of  the  way  nor  seek  leisure  for 
explanation  of  the  intrusion,  since  the  monster  was  coming 



down  upon  him,  with  now  and  then  a  snort,  that  emphatically 
said,  "Out  you  go,"  as  intelligibly  as  ever  snorts  said  any 
thing-,  yet  singularly  expressive,  unmistakably  meaning 
prompt  ejection  from  his  premises;  and  though  his 
progeny  were  styled  the  "racers,  razor  backs,  subsoilers, 
jumpers,  and  rail  splitters,"  by  the  early  white  settlers,  yet, 
with  his  fleetness,  agility,  strength  and  savage  snout  armed 
.with  those  terrible  tusks — veritable  lancets  indeed — which  in 
many  instances  grew  to  incredible  dimensions  both  in  size 
and  length — his  majesty  was  justly  styled  the  undisputed 
monarch  of  the  Mississippi  cane-brakes.  His  courage  was 
indeed  fearless  and  defiant,  and  with  a  reckless  ferocity  that 
no  sane  hunter  had  the  nerve  to  resolutely  receive.  Oft  he 
waited  not  for  presumptuous  provocation,  but  waged  war 
at  once  on  hunter  and  dogs  as  soon  as  trespassing  on  his 
domains,  whom  he  calmly  faced  with  a  defiant  front  that 
indicated  a  business  propensity  not  to  be  safely  misjudged, 
as  he  slowly  turned  from  side  to  side  seemingly  to  scan  the 
immediate  surroundings  and  take  in  the  situation;  but  when 
he  set  himself  to  going  after  man  or  dog,  he  displayed  an 
agility  and  address  which  those  who  have  once  experienced 
it  pronounced  amazing,  nor  desires  ever  again  to  test  his 
boarship's  peculiarities  by  personal  experience.  He  often 
wandered  companionless,  then  he  became  more  morose  and 
malignant,  and  more  dangerous  to  intrude  upon.  One  of 
this  character,  for  reasons  best  known  to  himself,  ventured 
under  the  cover  of  a  dark  night,  to  sleep  wTith  the  tame  hogs 
belonging  to  the  missionary  station,  Hebron,  over  which  Mr. 
Calvin  Cushmaii  had  jurisdiction,  soon  after  the  exodus  of 
the  Choctaws.  At  that  early  day,  hounds  were  a  protective 
necessity  against  the  carnivorous  wrild  animals  that  numer 
ously  abounded  in  the  forests,  though  Mr.  Calvin  Cushman 
was  never  known  to  fire  a  gun  at  a  wild  animal  of  any  kind, 
or  to  go  into  the  woods  as  a  hunter,  but  left  that  wholly  to 
others,  among  whom  his  three  sons  were  generally  found. 
The  visitor  had  overslept  himself,  or,  at  least,  was  a  little 
dilatory  the  next  morning  in  starting  for  his  home  in  the 
cane-brake,  and  thus  was  discovered  about  daybreak,  'by  one 
of  the  hounds  between  whom  and  his  boarship  uncompromis 
ing  hostility  existed.  At  once  the  hound  gave  notice  to  his 
companions  in  the  yard  of  the  presence  of  their  hated  and 
dreaded  enemy  by  loud  and  vociferous  barking,  to  which  the 
whole  pack,  gave  immediate  response  by  rushing  headlong 
over  the  yard  fence,  and  in  full  cry  hastened  to  the  call  of 
their  fellow.  At  once  they  rushed  for  the  wild  intruder, 
who,  taking  in  the  surroundings,  broke  at  once  for  his  citadel 
in  the. swamp  two  miles  away  across  an  intervening  forest 



with  110  undergrowth  in  which  to  shelter  himself  in  case  of 
being-  overtaken  by  his  pursuing-  foes.  My  brother  and  I, 
knowing-  from  the" wild  outcry  of  the  hounds  that  they  had 
discovered  some  wild  animal  of  merit,  seized  our  rifles,  rushed 
to  the  barn,  saddled  our. hunting'  horses  and  mounted;  then 
listened  a  moment  to  ascertain  the  bearings  of  the  hounds 
whose  cry  was  now  faintly  heard  in  the  distance,  but  gave 
evidence  that  the  object  of  their  pursuit  was  no  small  matter. 
At  once  wre  started  at  full  speed  through  the  open  forest,  and, 
after  running-  a  mile  or  more,  stopped  to  listen,  when  we 
ascertained  that  they  had  overtaken  the  night  intruder, 
whatever  he  was,  and  brought  him  to  bay,  but  still  nearly  a 
mile  distant.  Ag'ain  we  put  our  horses  at  full  speed,  and 
thus  continued  until  we  had  reached  the  top  of  a  high  ridge, 
where  came  into  full  view,  about  three  hundred  yards  distant, 
the  hounds  encircling  a  hug'e  wild  boar.  For  a  minute  we- 
silently  stood  and  gazed  upon  the  exciting  scene. 

The  hounds  (eight  in  number)  knowing,  from  sad  ex 
perience,  the  characteristics  of  their  foe.  were  running  this 
way  and  that  around  the  old  monarch  of  the  canebrake,  but 
observing*  the  judicious  caution  to  keep  twenty  or  thirty  feet 
distant  from  him.  who  defiantly  stood  in  the-  centre  of 
the  circle  and  boldly  solicited  closer  quarters.  No  under 
growth  obstructed  our  view,  and  the  whole  play  was  being 
enacted  before  us.  Now  a  hound  would  make  a  dash  at  his 
rear  only  to  be^net  by  the  about  face  of  the  agile  boar,  which 
caused  the  hound  to  also  make  an  about  face  followed  by  a 
hasty  retreat,  then  one  would  succeed  in  giving  him  a  snap 
in  the  rear,  which  caused  the  boar,  not  only  to  make  a  quick 
turn,  but  also  to  make  a  rush  for  a  few  paces  after  the  now 
retreating  dog-,  but  to  be  again  pinched  in  the  rear  by  some 
one  of  his  more  venturesome  assailants.  Finally  one  made  a 
dash  at  the  rear  of  the  boar  with  high  expectations  of  secur 
ing  a  good  bite;  but  poor  Pete  was  not  quick  enough  in  his 
whirl,  for  the  boar,  in  his  sweep,  struck  him  with  his  curv 
ing-  tusks  upon  the  thigh  making  art>  ugly  wound  three  or 
four  inches  in  length  and  to  the  bone.  .  Pete  at  once  acknowl 
edged  his  defeat  by  a  shrill  cry  and  immediate  retreat  to  the 
rear.  Thinking  it  time  to  take  a  hand  in/  the  fray,  wre  dis 
mounted,  and  leaving  our  horses  concealed,  cautiously  ad 
vanced  to  the  scene  of  action,  but  taking  care  not  to  let  his 
boarship  learn  of  our  proximity.  But  not  much  danger  of 
that,  as  his  attention  was  wholly  engaged  with  the  still  tor 
menting  dogs.  When  we  had  approached  within  a  hundred 
yards,  we  halted  behind  a  large  tree  and  formed  our  plan  of 
attack,  as  we  silently  peeped  from  our  hiding  place  and  view 
ed  the  scene.  The  boar  was  still  ignorant  of  our  presence; 


but  the  hounds  had  evidently  suspected  our.  presence  some 
where,  by  frequently  looking  back  and  sniffing  the  air,  and 
then  barking  more  vigorously  at  the  boar  and  making  bolder 
and  more  frequent  attacks  upon  his  rear. 

He  was  truly  a  magnificent  specimen  of  his  race/  of  a 
sandy  color,  full  grown,  and  in  fine  condition.  His  huge 
head" was  adorned  with  enormous,  curving  tusks  with  one 
sweep  of  which  he  could  cut  a  man,  dog  or  horse  into 
threads.  His  little  red  eyes,  nearly  covered  with  shaggy 
hair,  now  glowed  like  coals  of  fire,  beneath  a  pair  of  ears 
about  the  size  of  a  man's  hand  which  stood  perfectly  erect; 
his  tail,  though  curled  once  at  his  body,  nearly  touched  the 
ground  with  its  long  shaggy  hairs;  his  cavernous  mouth  was 
white  with  foam — proof  tha't  he  was  mad  all  over;  his  bristles 
about  four  inches  long,  extended  from  his  ears  to  his  tail, 
and  stood  up  erect  and  stiff,  while  every  hair  upon  his  body 
seemingly  quivered  with  rage;  the  massive  sinews  of  his 
great  chest  stood  out  like  small  ropes  as  he  turned  from  side 
to  side,  exposing  also  to  view  the  outlines  of  the  almost  im 
pervious  shield  that  enveloped  his  shoulders.  He  was  truly 
an  incarnation  of  immense  strength,  activity,  courage,  and 
brutal  ferocity. 

Our  curiosity  being  satisfied 'in  viewing  his^dimensions 
and  appearance,  it  was  resolved -that  my  brother,  who  was 
the  more  courageous  and  the  better  marksman,  should  crawl 
to  a  large  tree  that  stood  exactly  between  us  and  the  boar, 
which  would  bring  him  within  fifty  or  sixty  yards  of  his  boar- 
ship,  and  also,  the  sure  range  of  his  rifle,  while  I  was  to  keep 
my  position  as  a  rear  guard  in  case  of  a  compulsory  retreat. 
By  good  fortune  he  gained  the  tree  unobserved  by  hound  or 
boar;  then  arose  to  his  feet  and  brought  his  rifle  to  his  shoul= 
der,  with  the  barrel  resting  against  the  right  si<le  of  the  tree, 
thus  being  enabled  to  keep  his  body  wholly  concealed.  Soon 
I  saw  the  boar  turn  his  head  exactly  toward  the  tree  and  in 
stantly  the  crack  of  the  rifle  mingled  with  the  baying  of  the 
hounds,  and  the  fierce  brute  pitched  over  on  his  nose  to  be 
instantly  covered  with  exultant  dogs  who  bit  and  snapped 
their  fallen  foe.  We  hurried  up, only  to  see  a  convulsive  shiver 
run  through  the  huge  mass  of  flesh  and  bone,  and  the  fierce 
glare  of  the  eye  as  it  died  out  slowly,  like  a  coal  fading  in  the 
sunlight  as  t|j£  white  ashes  cover  it.  The  vi;ifle  ball  had  ac 
complished  its  mission  of  death. 

In  conclusion,  I  will  but  add:  If  those,  who  to-day  talk 
about  dangerous  game,  would  like  to  enjoy  a  rough  and  tum 
ble  encounter,  I  would,  could  I  recall  the  last  seventy  years, 
recommend  to  them  a  wild  boar  of  the  Mississippi  cane- 


breaks,  with  strong-  testimonials;  nor  would  they  have  far  to 
go,  at  that  day,  to  find  him. 

O-ka-it-tib-ih-ha  -county,  Mississippi,  as  well  as  its 
sister  counties,  has  been  the  scene  of  many  hard  struggles 
between  the  contending  warriors  of  the  different  tribes, 
who  inhabited  the  noble  old  state  in  years  of  the  long  past; 
not  only  from  the  statements  and  traditions  of  the  Choctaws, 
who  were  among  the  last'  of  the  Indian  race  whose  council- 
iires  lit  up  her  forests,  and  whose  hoyopatassuha  died  away 
upon  her  hills,  but  also  from  the  numerous  fortifications  and 
intrenchments,  that  were  plainly  visible,  ere  the  ploughshare 
had  upturned  her  virgin  soil,  and  her  native-  forests  still 
stood  in  their  primitive  beauty  and  grandeur.  From  those 
rude  fortifications,  plainly  identified  many  years  after  the 
advent  of  the  missionaries,  strong  positions  were  evidently 
held  by  each  contending  party;  yet  they  seemed  to  have 
been  constructed  with  no  regard  to  mathematical  skill,  but 
rather  as  circumstances  demanded  or  would  admit.  Such 
at  least  were  the  intrenchments  enclosing  the  Shakchi 
Humma  old  fort;  and  the  mail}*  evidences,  such  as  rusted 
tomahawks,  arrow-heads,  human  bones,  teeth  and  fragments 
of  skulls  that  were  continually  being  ploughed  up  for 
many  years,  proved  the  hard  contested  fight  of  the  Shak 
chi  Hummas  and  the  allied  Choctaws  and  Chickasaws;  and 
that  the  brave  but  greatly'  out-numbered  Shakchi  Hummas 
had  disputed  every  inch  of  the  ground,  and  had  only  yielded 
to  the  superior  numbers  of  the  combined  Choctaws  and 
Chickasaw  warriors.  The  ancient  Choctaws,  as  well  as  all 
other  Indians,  did  not  confine  their  battles  to  forts  and  in 
trenchments,  but  fought  as  circumstances  offered,  oftener 
in  small  bodies  than  in  large.  Hence,  they  never  drew  out 
their  forces  in  open  field,  but  fought  from  behind  trees, 
stumps  and  logs;  each  seeking  every  possible  advantage  of 
his  enemy,  regarding-  all  advantages  gained  as  wholly  at 
tributable  to  superior  skill;  all  advantages  lost,  to  want 
of  it. 

According  to  the  statements  made  by  the  Choctaws  to 
Mr.  Calvin  Cushman,  when  first  established  among  them 
as  a  missionary,  nearly  eighty  years  ago,  the  Shakchi 
Hummas,  a  warlike  and  very  overbearing  tribe  of  Indians, 
were  wholly  exterminated  by  the  combined  forces  of  the 
Choctaws  and  Chickasaws  about  the  year  1721.  ^» 

I  was  personally  acquainted  with  a  remarkable  old  Choc- 
taw  warrior,  by  the  name  of  Ish-iah-hin-la,  (you  liable  to  go) 
who  claimed  to  have  fought  through  the  Shakchi  Humma 
war.  He  was  said  to  be  the  last  surviving  Choctaw  warrior 
of  that  memorable  conflict,  and  died  in  1828  at  the  advanced 


-age  of  107  years,  so  he  claimed  to  be.  Indeed  the  old  war 
rior's  white  locks,  wrinkled  face,  shriveled  and  decrepit 
body,  indicated  life's  journey  to  have  reached  that  point; 
and,  as  longevity  was  frequent  at  that  time  (as  even  to-day) 
among  the  Indians,  many  then  living  whose  ages  reached 
eighty  and  ninety  years.  I  did  not  doubt  the  old  man's  state 
ment.  He  took  great  delight  in  relating  many  incidents  of 
that  war  and  oft  amused  my  boyish  fancy  in  telling  many 
thrilling  scenes  in  which  he  participated.  This  war  had  its 
•origin  from  the  overbearing  disposition  of  the  Shakchi  Hum- 
mail,  and  the  frequent  murders  committed  by  their  war  par 
ties  upon  the  Choctaws  and  Chickasaws.  The  account,  as 
related  by  the  Choctaws  to  the  missionaries,  is  in  substance, 
about  as  follows:  Many  years  after  the  Choctaws  and 
•Chickasaws  had  established  themselves  east  of  the  Missis 
sippi  river,  a  Choc  taw  chief,  named  Shakchi  Hum  ma  (Craw 
fish  Red),  recrossed  the  Mississippi  river,  with  his  family 
and  a  large  number  of  his  adherents,  and  established  a  col 
ony  (under  the  name  of  their  chief,  Shakchi  Hum  ma)  in, 
now  the  state  of  Arkansas, 

In  the  course  of  years  this  colony  became  greatly  en 
larged  by  constant  accessions;  and,  with  increasing  numbers 
and  strength,  also  became  insolent  and  overbearing*  to  that 
extent  that  a  war  arose  between  them  and  another  tribe,  in 
which  they  were  defeated  and  driven  back  over  the  Missis 
sippi  "to  their  former  country.  After  being  established 
there,  (not  as  Choctaws  but  as  Shakchi  Hummas,  disregard 
ing  their  ancient  kindred  ties)  they  adopted  an  arrogant  and 
aggressive  policy  towards  both  the  Choctaws  and  Chicka 
saws,  who,  provoked  beyond  longer  endurance,  formed  a 
secret  alliance  in  an  exterminating  war  against  the  Shakchi 

Then  followed  a  three  years  war  of  extermination  (fa 
mous  in  Choctaw  tradition)  culminating  at  the  battle  of  Oski 
Hlopah  and  blotting  out  the  Shakchi  Humma  nation.  The 
Choctaws  and  Chickasaws  took  the  war  path  together,  re 
solving  to  exterminate  their  insolent  enemies  or  be  exter 
minated  themselves.  At  this  juncture,  several  large  parties 
of  Shakchi  Hummah  hunters  were  camped  on  Noxubee 
creek,  as  much  game  had  congregated  there  owing  to  the 
destruction  of  the  range  in  many  parts  of  the  country  by  the 
accidental  fall  fires.  The  Choctaws,  being  aware  of  the  lo 
cality  of  the  Shakchi  Humma  hunters,  opened  the  war  by 
making  an  unexpected  attack  upon  them  and  slew  the  greater 
part,  throwing  their  dead  bodies  into  the  creek  which  caused 
;in  awful  stench,  which  gave  the  name  Nahshobili  to  the 
creek,  and  .opened  hostilities  in  good  earnest  between  the 


Choctaws   and   Ghickasaws    on   one    side   and  the    Shakchf 
Hummas  on  the  other. 

Extermination  being   th  ewar-cry    adopted  by   the    con 
testants,    both    parties   fought    with  desperation.     But,    un 
expectedly  as  the  two  allied    tribes   had    rushed    upon   their 
unsuspecting-  and  unprepared    enemies   (thus   in   the   outset 
gaining   great   advantage)   yet    the   Shakchi     Hummas   soon 
rallied  from  their  discomfiture  caused  by  their  surprise;  and 
then  commenced  one  of  those  fierce   and  bloody  conflicts,   so 
oft  engaged  in  by  the  Red  Men   in   the  years   of   the   hoWy 
past,  but  known  only  to  themselves.  In  union  there  is  strength, 
is  an  old  but  true  adage;  and  thus  it  proved  to  the    Choctaws 
and  Chickasaws.     Though  fortune  for  a  while   appeared   to 
waver,  vacillating1  from  the  one  side  to  the  other  and  seeming" 
at  a  loss  on  whom  to  bestow   her   smiles,    but  finally   looked 
with  favor  upon  the  two  allied  tribes.    The  Shakchi  ifummas, 
after  many  reverses  and  great   losses,   finally  sought   to  pro 
tract  the  strong-  struggle  by  taking-  refuge  in  their  intrenched 
villages.     But  one  after  another  of  these  fell  into  the  hands  of 
the    victorious   Choctaws     and    Chickasaws,    who     now    had 
become  fearless  by  their  success,  and,   e're  the  third  year  of 
the   desperate    conflict   had    closed,    every   village   had    been 
taken,  and  destroyed,    and    the    majority  of   the   inhabitants 
slain.  The  few  who  escaped  united  their  strength  and  finally 
took  their  last  stand  at  a  point  now  known  as  Ly oil's  bluff  on 
Oski  Hlopah  (Cane  stripped)  river  known   now  as  Trimcane, 
about  nine  miles  northeast  of   Starkville,    Mississippi,    hope 
less,  yet  determined  to  fight  to   the   death.     Sheltered   by   a 
few  logs  and  banks  of  earth,  the  last    of   that   once    powerful 
and  arrogant  tribe,  now  f ought  as  only    men    in   despair    can 
and  do  fight,  sending  many  of  their  enemies  to  precede  them 
to  the  hunting  grounds  in  the  great  beyond.     How  true  it  is, 
that  man  is  a  being,  when    placed    in    danger   and    devoid   of 
hope — that  oasis. amid  the  arid  desert  of  life — who    is   to   be 
dreaded!     When  hope  has  fled,  despair  usurps  its   place;  and 
none  despair  till  they  behold  death  staring  them  in  the    face; 
dnd  .when  life,  with    all   its    beautiful  shades   and    colors,    is 
bleached  with  the  bitterness  of  death,  'tis  then  man  becomes 
desperate;  and  even  the  most  timid   have   then   accomplished 
feats  of  daring  seemingly  incredible.     Such  was   the  forlorn 
hope  cooped  up  in  that  little  fort,  if  fort    it   might    be    called. 
Surrounded  on  all    sides  without   the    possibility   of   escape, 
and  sheltered  only  by  a  few  logs  and  piles   of   dirt;   yet   they 
baffled  all  attempts  of  their  enemies  to  dislodge  them. 

Like  tigers  at  bay,  they  fought  day  and  night,  though 
hour  by  hour  thinned  in  numbers,  till  at  last  but  few  re 
mained;  yet  that  handful  yielded  not,  nor  asked  for  quarter. 

HISTORY    OF    THE    INDIANS.  245 

sing-ing  their  death  song-,  and  ever  and  anon  hurling 
back  their  defiant  war-whoops,  they  continued  to  fight,  kill 
ing  everyone  who  attempted  to  scale  their  little  breast-work 
of  logs  and* 'earth.  For  many  days  did  the  warriors  of  that 
log  and  mud 'fort  successfully  hold  out,  bravely  driving  back 
their  assailants  in  every  charge.  At  length,  the  Choctaws 
and  Chickasaws,  maddened  at  the  obstinate  resistance  of  the 
now  desperate  Shakchi  Hummas,  and  the  continued  falling 
here  and  there  of  'their  own  warriors,  with  a,  mighty  rush 
broke  over  the  feebly  defended  walls  of  logs  and  earth,  but 
to  be  met  by  the  little  squad'of  still  defiant  Shakchi  Hum 
mas,  who  received  them  with  the  last  shout  of  their  still  defi 
ant  war-whoop.  Then,  for  a  few  moments,  was  heard  the 
clashing  and  ringing  of  the  tomahawks  as  the  busy  scene  of 
death  went  on;  each  Shakchi  Humma  warrior  fighting,  not 
for  life  or  for  glory,  but  in  mad  despair — seeking  to  kill  ere 
he  was  killed/  But  soon  the  last  death-dealing-  blow  was 
struck  that  blotted  out  forever  the  Shakchi  Humma  Nation. 
Only  one  of  the  whole  tribe  was  left,  and  that  one  was  a 
young  girl  about  sixteen  or  eighteen  years  of  ag*e,  who  was 
spared  on  account  of  her  wonderful  beauty.  She  was  adopt 
ed  by  the  Choctaws,  and  lived  to  be  nearly  or  quite  a  hun 
dred  years  old,  and  was  living  some  years  after  the  advent 
of  the  missionaries  among  them.  Mr.  H.  Peden,  who  lived 
fourteen  miles  from  Hebron,  the  home  of  Mr.  Calvin  Cush- 
man,  stated  that  Mr.  P.  P.  Pitchlynn,  who  had  often  spoken 
to  him  of  this  old  Shakchi  Humma  captive,  one  day  pointed- 
her  out  to  him  at  a  religious  meeting  of  the  Choctaws.  Mr. 
Peden  stated  that  she  was  the  oldest  looking  human  being 
that  he  had  ever  seen,  and  from  her  appearance,  he  judged 
her  to  be  over  a  century  old.  She  died  a  few  years  before 
the  venerable  old  warrior,  Stahenka;  but  lived  to  hear  the 
tidings  of  the  Cross  preached  to  her  race,  though  the  only 
survivor  of  her  own  tribe,  exterminated  in  the  bright  morn 
of  her  youthful  but  eventful  life.  Alas,  the  single  combats 
of  the  heroes  of  history  or  fable  may  amusev  the  fancy  and 
engag'e  the  admiration;  the  skillful  evolutions  of  war  may 
inform  the  mind;  but  in  the  uniform  and  terrible  picture  of 
a  general  assault,  all  is  blood,  horror  and  desolation;  nor  shall 
I  further  attempt  to  delineate,  at  the  distance  of  nearly  two 
centuries,  a  scene  at  which  the  actors  themselves  were  in 
capable  of  forming  any  just  or  adequate  idea.  But  such  is 
the  only  history  of  the  Shakchi  Hummas  whose  blood  still 
runs  in  the  veins  of  a  few  Choctaws — descendants  of  the  girl 
saved  at  the  tragic  destruction  of  her  tribe — one  of  whom 
.became  a  chief  of  the  Choctaws  and  died  in  1884  at  his  home 


a  few  miles  east  of  Atoka,  Choctaw  Nation,  Indian  Territory.. 
His  name  is  Coleman  Cole.      ,  %          . 

The  Choctaws,  like  all  of 'their  race,  had  no'written.  laws, 
and  their  government  rested  alone  on  custom  and  usage, 
growing-  out  of  their  possessions  and  their  wants  ;  yet  was 
conducted  so  harmoniously  by  the  influence  of  their  native 
genius  and  experience,  that  'one  would  hardly  believe 
that  human  society  could  be  maintained  with  so 
little  artifice.  As  they  had  no  money,  their  traffic  con 
sisted  alone  in  mutual  exchang-e  of  all  commodities  ;  as 
there  was  no  employment  of  others  for  hire,  there 
were  no  contracts,  hence  judges  and  lawyers,  sheriffs 
and  jails  were  unknown  among  them.  There  were  no  beg 
gars,  no  wandering  tramps,  no  orphan  children  unprovided 
for  in  their  country,  and  deformity  was  almost  unknown, 
proving  that  nature  in  the  wild  forest  of  the  wilderness  is 
true  to  her  type.  Their  chief  had  no  crown,  110  sceptre,  no 
body  guards,  no  outward  symbols  of  authority,  nor  power  to 
give  validity  to  their  commands,  but  sustained  their  author 
ity  alone  upon  the  good  opinion  of  their  tribe.  No  Choctaw 
ever  worshipped  his  fellow  man,  or  submitted  his  will  to  the 
humiliating  subordinations  of  another,  but  with  that  senti 
ment  of  devotion  that  passed  bevorid  the  region  of  humanity, 
and  brought  him  in  direct  contact  with  nature  and  the  imag 
inary  beings  by  whom  it  was  controlled,  which  he  divined  but 
could  not  fathom;  to  these,  and  these  alone,  he  paid  his  hom 
age,  invoking  their  protection  in  war  and  their  aid  in  the 

The  ancient  Choctaws  believed,  and  those  of  the  present 
day  believe,  and  I  was  informed  bv  Governor  Basil  LeFlore,. 
in  1884,  isince  deceased)  that  there  is  an  appointed  time  for 
every  one  to  die;  hence  suicide  appeared  to  them,  as  an  act 
of  the  meanest  cowardice.  Though  thev  regarded  it  as  a 
sacrilege  to  mention  the  names  of  their  dead,  still  they  spoke 
of  their  own  approaching  death  with  calmness  and  tran- 
quility.  No  people  on  earth  paid  more  respect  to  their  dead, 
than  the  Choctaws  did  and  still  do;  or  preserved  with  more 
affectionate  veneration  the  graves  of  their  ancestors.  They 
were  to  them  as  holy  relics,  the  only  pledges  of  their  history; 
hence,  accursed  was  he  who  shouldfdespoil  the  dead.  They 
had  but  a  vague  idea  of  future  rewards  and  punishments. 
To  them  a  future  life  was  a  free  gift  of  the  GreatjSpirit,  and 
the  portals  of  the  happy  hunting  grounds  would  be  opened 
to  them,  in  accordance  as  their  life  had  been  meritorious  as 
a  brave  warrior.  They  were  utterly  ignorant  of  the  idea  of 
a  general  resurrection,  and  it  was  difficult  for  them  to  be  in 
duced  to  believe  that  the  body  would  again  be  raised  up. 


But  to-day  finds  the  Choctaws  advanced  in  knowledge  and 
improvement,  which  has  produced  a  revolution  in  their  moral 
and  intellectual  condition  and  in  the  current  of  their  thoughts 
and  ideas.  Though  seemingly  slow  to  many  has  been  their 
progress,  yet  not  more  so  than  other  nations.  For  it  must 
be  remembered,  that  to-day  there  are  many  nations  on  the 
eastern  continent,  where  a  knowledge  of  letters  has  been 
known  for  centuries,  and  whose  intellectual  advantages  have 
been  much  superior  to  that  of  the  North  American  Indians, 
who  have  not  yet  reached  that  moral  and  intellectual  culture 
that  many  tribes  of  the  Indians  have.  It  required  over  2000, 
years  for  us  to  rise  from  a  state  of  savage  barbarity  to  our 
present  state  of  advancement,  though,  'tis  true  they  have 
had,  to  a  small  extent,  the  advantages  of  pur  civilization;  but 
when  we  take  into  consideration  the  great  disadvantages 
which  even  the  five  civilized  tribes  have  labored  under  and 
the  many  oppositions  they  have  had  to  encounter  from  first 
to  last,  in  their  commendable  efforts  to  moral  and  intellectual 
improvement,  (though  enjoying  the  advantages  of  the  teach 
ings  of  the  faithful  and  noble  missionary  for  half  a  century) 
from  the  corrupting  influences  and  pernicious  examples  of 
the  base  white  men  who  have  ever  cursed  their  country,  even 
as  fated  Egypt  of  old  was  cursed  by  the  visitations  of  the 
locusts,  frogs  and  lice,  we  have  just  and  good  reasons  to  be 
surprised  that  they  have  made  the  progress  they  have. 

As  a  proof  of  the  Indian's  love  of  country  and  the  scenes 
of  his  childhood,  so  cruelly  denied  him  by  his  oppressors,  I 
will  state  that  a  few  years  after 'they  had  moved  west,  a  few 
Choctaw  warriors,  seemingly  unable  to  resist  the  desire  of 
once  more  looking  upon  the  remembered  scenes  of  the  un- 
forgotteii  past,  returned  to  the  homes  of  their  youth;  for 
a  few  weeks  they  lingered  around,  the  very  .personification 
of  hopeless  woe,  with  a  peculiar  something  in  their  manner 
and  appearance,  which  seemed  to  speak  their  thoughts  as 
absently  following  a  long  dream  that  was  leading  them  to 
the  extreme  limits  of  their  once  interminable  fatherland. 
But  their  souls  could  not  brook  the  change,  or  the  ways  of 
the  pale-face.  They  gazed  awhile,  as  strangers  in  a  strange 
land,  then  turned  in  silence  and  sorrow  from  the  loved  vision 
they  never  would  enjoy  or  look  upon  again,  but  which  they 
never  would  forget,  and  once  more  directed  their  steps  to 
ward  the  setting  sun  and  were  seen  no  more.  But  nothing 
strange  in  this;  for  who  does  not  delight,  even  in  after  years, 
to  return  to  the  well  remembered  walks  of  early  life!  the 
touch  of  the  long  vanished  hands,  and  the  echo  of  the  voices, 
that  are  hushed,  all  seem  to  return,  reminding  us  in  touch 
ing  accents  of  unutterable  pathos,  of  the  days  that  are  no 


more!  again  are  we  united  with  the  days  of  childhood,  call 
ing  up  by-gone  joys.  Truly,  what  a  hallowing  glory  invests 
our  past,  beckoning  us  back  to  the  haunts  of  boyhood's  days! 
again  the  songs  we  sang  sweep  o'er  the  harp  of  memory  in 
tones  of  sweetest  melody!  again  the  faces  that  early  weht 
down  to  the  tomb,  that  cheerless  habitation  of  the  dead, 
smile  on  us  with  unchanging  love  and  tenderness.  The 
past!  To  every  heart,  what  a  fairy  land.  Who  would  not 
keep  the  memory  of  those  days  unsullied,  unalloyed  from 
those  that  raise  a  sadness  in  the  soul!  Ah!  as  a  token  from 
some  lost  loved  one,  whose  name  is  only  spoken  within  the 
secrets  of  the  heart,  would  I  cherish  and  keep  them  with 
'memories  that  never  die. 

The  Indians  have  ever  been  termed  a  nomadic  race,  and 
as  such  have  been  represented  by  all  who  have  written  about 
them.  There  certainly  never  has  a  greater  error  been  pro 
mulgated  about  any  people.  I  refer  to  the  southern  Indians 
who  formerly  lived  east  of  the  Mississippi  river.  How  far 
the  Indians  of  the  western  plains  may  merit  the  title,  I 
will  not  attempt  to  judge,  being  but  little  acquainted  with 
their  habits  and  customs,  ancient  or  modern.  But  I  have  no 
fears  in  saying  that  no  people  merited  less  the  appellation, 
nomadic,  than  those  who  formerly  dwelt  east  of  the  Missis 
sippi  river.  Webster,  the  standard  authority,  gives  the  defi 
nition  of  nomadic -as  signifying,  "Moving  from  place  to 
place,"  and  how  that  word  could  in  any  way  justly  be  ap 
plied  to  the  Choctaw',  Chickasaw  and  Muscogee  Indians,  who 
were  never  known  to  move  in  the  knowledge  of  the  whites, 
'until  moved  by  them  from  their  ancient  domains  to  their 
present  location,  is  a  difficult  matter  to  comprehend.  In 
15^0,  De  Soto  found  them  in  the  very  spot  from  which  the 
government  moved  them  in  1832,  1836,  and  1840.  In  1623, 
the  early  settlers  of  Virginia  found  them  exactly  where  De 
Soto  had  left  them.  When  the  French  established  them 
selves  in  Mobile,  Alabama,  they  found  them  still  where  the 
Viginia  settlers  had  found  them.  In  1735,  the  Carolina 
traders  found  them  exactly  where  De  Soto,  the  Virginians 
and  the  French  had  found  them.  In  1744,  Adair  found  them 
still  where  De  Soto,  the  Virginians,  the  French,  and  the 
Carolina  traders,  had  found  them,  and  lived  among  the 
Chickasaws  thirty  years.  In  1771,  Roman  still  found  them 
at  the  very  place  where  De  Soto,  the  Virginians,  the  French, 
the  Carolina  traders  and  Adair,  had  found  them;  and  states, 
in  his  travels  through  the  Choctaw  Nation,  he  passed 
through  seventy  of  their  towns.  In  1815,  the  missionaries 
still  found  them  exactly  where  De  Soto,  the  Virginians,  the 
French,  the  Carolinian  traders,  Adair,  d.nd  Roman  had  found 


-them.     In  1832,  the  United  States   Government   found  them 
still  where  De  Soto,  the  Virginians,    the    French,    the   Caro 
lina  traders,  Adair,  Roman,    and  the  missionaries  had  found 
them,  and  moved   them   to   their   present   place   of  abode  in 
1832;  and  1899,  A.  D.  finds  them  just  where  the  government 
put  them  sixty-seven  years  ago.     So  they  have  "moved  from 
place  to  place/'  once  in  359   years,   and    then   moved    by  the 
force  of  arbitrary  power,  they  are  called  nomadic. 
Of  the  Indians  it  may  be  truly  said: 

"But  on  the  natives  of  that  land  misused, 

Not  long  the  silence  of   amazement  hung, 
Nor  brooked  they  long  their  friendly  faith  abused; 
For  with  a  common  shriek,  the  general  tongue 
Exclaimed,  'to  arms  !'  and  fast  to  arms  they  sprung." 

They  were  truly  men  of  the  past,  as  well  as  men  of  the 
woods,  yet  noble  and  true,  glorying  in  their  ancestors,  and 
living  in  their  deeds  by  reverencing  what  they  had  handed 
clown  to  them. 

The  Choctaws,  from  their  earliest  history,  have  ever 
maintained  their  independence,  and  their  love  of  country, 
amounting  to  almost  idolatry,  which  cannot  be  described  by 
words;  and,  in  defending  it,  they  utterly  despised  danger 
and  mocked  at  fear. 

Having  no  alphabet  nor  written  language,  their  know 
ledge  was  conveyed  to  the  eye  by  rude  imitation.  In  the 
pictures  of  various  animals  which  had  been  drawn  on  s-mooth 
substance,  a  piece  of  bark,  or  tree,  there  he  recognized  a 
symbol  of  his  tribe;  and  in  these  various  figures,  which  he' 
saw  sketched  here  and  there,  he  re,ad  messages  from  his 
friends.  The  rudest  painting,  though  silent  and  unintelligi 
ble  to  the  white  man,  told  its  tale  to  the  Choctaws.  He 
abhorred  restraint  of  any  kind,  while  liberty,  free  and  un 
restrained,  was  the  ruling  passion  of  his  soul;  the  natural 
and  unrestrained  propensities,  of  his  wild  nature  were  his 
system  of  morals,  to  which  he  firmly  adhered  and  tenaciously 
followed.  They  had  no  calendar,  but  reckoned  time  thus: 
The  months,  by  the  full  or  crescents  moons;  the  years  by 
the  killing  of  the  vegetation  by  the  wintry  frosts.  Thus,  for 
two  years  ago  the  Choc  taw  would  say:  Hushuk  (grass)  illi 
-(dead)  tuklo  (twice);  literally,  grass  killed  twice,  or,  more 
properly,  two  killings  of  the  grass  ago.  The  sun  was  called 
Nittak  hushi — the  Day-sun;  and  the  moon,  Neuak  hushi, 
\he  Night-sun  and  sometimes,  Tekchi  hushi  — the  Wife 
•of  the  sun.  Their  almanac  was  kept  by  the  flight  of 
the  fowls  of  the  air;  whose  coming  and  going  announced  to 
Ihem  the  progress  of  the  advancing  and  departing 


seasons.  Thus  the  fowls  of  the  air  announced  to  the  then 
blessed  and  happy  Choctaw  the  progress  of  the  seasons, 
while  the  beasts. "of  the  field  gave  to  him  warning-  of  the 
gathering  and  approaching  storm,  and  the  sun  marked  to 
him  the  hour  of  the  day;  and  so  the  changes  of  time  were 
noted,  not  by  figures,  but  by  days,  sleeps,  suns  and  moons- 
signs  that  spoke  the  beauty  and  poetry  of  nature.  If  a  shorter 
time  than  a  day  was  required  to  be  indicated  two  parallel 
lines  were  drawn  on  the  ground,  a  certain  distance  apart, 
then  pointing  to  the  sun  he  would  say:  "It  is  as  long  as  it 
would  take  the  sun  to  move  from  there  to  there."  The  time 
indicated  by  the  moon  was  from  its  full  to  the  next;  that  of 
the  year,  from  winter  to  winter  again,  or  from  summer  to 
summer.  To  keep  appointments,  a  bundle  of  sticks  contain 
ing  the  exact  number  of  sticks  as  there  were  days  from  the 
day  of  appointment  to  the  appointed,  was  kept;  and  every 
morning  one  was  taken  out  and  thrown  away,  the  last  stick 
announced  the  arrival  of  the  appointed.  This  bundle  of 
twigs  was  called  Fuli  (sticks)  kauah  (broken)  broken  sticks. 

The  abundant  game  of  his  magnificent  and  wide  extended 
forests,  which  he  never  killed  in  wanton  sport,  no  more  than 
a  white  man  would  kill  his  cattle,  but  only  as  his  necessities 
demanded,  together  with  the  fish  of  his  beautiful  streams, 
his  fields  of  corn,  potatoes,  beans,  with  that  of  the  inexhaus 
tible  supplies  of  spring  and  summer  berries  of  fine  variety 
and  flavor,  and  winter  nuts,  all  united  to 'consummate  his 
earthly  bliss  in  rendering  him  a  successful  huntsman, 
a  good  fisherman,  and  cheerful  tiller  of  the  ground. 
The  Choctaws  have  long  been  known  to  excel  all  the  North 
American  Indians  in  agriculture,  subsisting  to  a  considerable 
extent  on  the  produce  of  their  fields.  In  mental  capacity  the 
Choctaws,  as  a  race  of  people,  both  ancient  and  modern, were 
and  are  not  inferior  to  the  whites;  and  their'  domestic  life, 
as  I  know  them  seventy  years  ago,  would  sustain  in  many 
respects,  a  fair  comparison  with  average  civilized  white  com 
munities.  Their  perspective  faculties  were  truly  wonder 
ful;  and  the  Choctaws  of  to-day,  to  whom  the  advantages  of 
an  education  have  been  extended,  have  given  indisputable 
evidence  of  as  great  capacity  for  a  high  order  of  education 
as  any  people  on  earth,  I  care  not  of  what  nationality. 

There  were  no  degrees  of  society  among  them,  no  dif 
ference  in  social  gatherings;  all  felt  themselves  equal,  of  the 
same  standing  and  on  the  same  terms  of  social  equality. 
And  it  is  the  same  to  day.  They  had  no  sur-names,yet  their 
names  were  peculiar,  and  most  always  significant,  express 
ive  of  some  particular  action  or  incident;  even  as  the  names 
given  to  their  hills,  rivers,  creeks,  towns  and  villages.  As- 


those  of  ancient,  classic  fame  in  the  eastern  world,  so  to  the 
superstitious  mind  of  the  Choctaw  of  the  western  world, 
caused  him  also  to  regard  the  sudden  appearance  of  certain 
birds  and  their  chirping's  and  twittering's,  the  howl  of  the 
wolf  and  thelonely  hootof  the  owl,  as  omens  of  evil,  whileothers, 
asomensof  good;  the  spiritual  significance  of  which,  however, 
he  interpreted  according  to  the  dictation  of  his  own  judg 
ment,  instead  of  that  of  an  augur  differing  in  this  particular 
from  his  ancient  brothers  of  Rome  and  Greece;  yet  like  them 
he  undertook  no  important  enterprise  without  first  consult 
ing  his  trusted  signs,  whether  auspicious  or  otherwise.  If 
the  former,  he  hesitated  not  its  undertaking;  if  the  latter,  no 
inducement  could  be  offered  that  would  prevail  upon  him  to* 
undertake  it;  but  he  returned  to  his  cabin  and  there  re 
mained  for  favorable  omens. 

But  how  far  mav  be  found  a  more  just  cause  for  admi 
ration  of  the  religious  superstitions  of  the  ancient  Romans 
and  Grecians  than  that  of  the  North  American  Indians,  it  is 
difficult  to  see,  since  the  Indians,  alike  with  them,  acknowl 
edged,  everywhere  in  nature,  the  presence  of  invisible  be 
ings;  and  it 'was  the  firm  belief  that  his  interests  were  under 
the  special  care  of  the  Great  and  Good  Spirit  that  the  Choc- 
taw  warrior  went  upon  the  war-path,  and  the  hunter  sought 
the  solitudes  of  his  native  forests  in  search  of  his  game;  and 
that  his  career  in  life  was  marked  out  for  him  by  a  decree 
that  could  not  be  altered.  True,  he  was  free  to  act,  but  the 
consequences  of  those  actions  were  fixed  beforehand;  his 
daily  food,  life,  joys,  all,  everything,  were  acknowledged  as 
coming  from  the  Great  Spirit,  who  knew  all  things  and  im 
parted  his  wisdom  to  man;  rewarded  good  deeds  and  pun 
ished  crimes;  implanted  unwritten  laws  of  right  and  wrong 
on  the  human  heart,  and  unfolded  to  him  coming  events- 
through  dreams.  The  mystery  of  nature  had  its  influence 
upon  the  untutored  minds  of  all  Indians,  as  well  as  its  phe 
nomena  upon  his  senses;  which,  to  them,  were  represented 
by  the  inferior  spirits  that  surround  the  Great  Spirit,  who 
was  the 'all-controlling  deity;  and  to  Him  they  all  turned  in 
gratitude  for  blessings,  and  for  aid  in  all  the  affairs  of  life. 
Surely,  it  is  the  part  of  humanity  in  us,  who  have  lived  under 
a  higher  dispensation,  in  tracing  the  deep  influences  that 
the  mythology  of  this  strange,  wonderful  and  peculiar  peo 
ple  had  over  them ;> to  admire  rather  than  condemn  without 
admitting  the  many  extenuating  circumstances.  And 
though  the  rites  and  ceremonies  of  the  Indians,  by  which 
they  expressed  their  belief  in  their  dependence  on  the  Great 
Spirit,  was  made  in  offerings  of  corn,  bread,  fruits,  etc,  in 
stead  of  the  sacrifices  of  animals;  and  sought  omens  in  the 


actions  of  living-  animals,  instead  of  an  augury  in  the  entrails 
of  dead  animals;  yet  the  sincere  feelings  of  piety,  of  grati 
tude  and  dependence,  which  gave  origin  to  those  offerings, 
gave  origin  also  to  that  universal  habit  of  self-examination 
.  and  secret  prayer  to  the  great  Spirit,  so  characteristic  of  the 
Indian  race.  They  believed  that  the  Great  Spirit  communi 
cated  his  will  to  man  in  dreams,  in  thunder  and  lightning, 
eclipses,  meteors,  comets,  in  all  the  prodigies  of  nature,  and 
the  thousands  of  unexpected'  incidents  that  occur  to  man. 
Could  it  be  otherwise  expected  from  those  who  walked  by 
the  light  of  nature  alone?  And  though  few  assumed  to  have 
attained  the  power  of  revealing  the  import  of  these  signs  and 
wonders,  yet  many  sought  the  coveted  prize  but  found  it  not, 
therefore,  became  self-constituted  prophets,  but  remained 
silent  as  to  the  character  and  functions  of  the  spirits  with 
whom  thev  held  their  mysterious  intercourse,  thus  leaving 
little  foundation  by  which  to  identify  their  mythology.  But 
that  they  derived  their  religious  beliefs  from  the  common 
seed  with  which  man  first  started,  there  can  be  no  doubt; 
but  ere  it  had  developed  to  any  extent  they  strayed  from  the 
parent  stock,  and  it  assumed  different  aspects  under  differ- 
en  circumstances,  during  the  long  period  of  isolation  that  en 
sued.  Still,  we  find  existing  everywhere  among  mankind 
the  same  sensitiveness  to  the  phenomena  of  nature,  and  the 
same  readiness  and  power  of  imagining  invisible  beings  as 
the  cause  of  these  phenomena. 

The  tendency  of  the  Indian  mind  was  thoroughly  prac 
tical,  stern  and  unbending,  it  was  not  filled  with  images  of 
poetry  nor  high  strung*  conceptions  of  fancy.  He  struggled 
for  what  was  immediate,  the  war  path,  the  chase  and  council 
life;  but  when  not  engaged  therein, -the  life  of  the  national 
games,  under  the  head  of  social  amusements,  filled  up  the 
measure  of  his  days — the  ball  plav,  horse-race,  foot-race, 
jumping  and  wrestling — to  them  as  honorable  as  the  gym 
nastic  exercises  of  the  eastern  nations  of  antiquity;  enduring 
heat  and  cold,  suffering"  the  pang-s  of  hunger  and  thirst,  fa 
tigue  and  sleeplessness.  The  object  of  the  Indian  boy  also, 
was  to  gain  all  the  experience  possible  in  all  manly  exercises, 
therefore  at  an  early  age  he  went  in  search  of  adventures. 
Their  tribal  council  consisted  of  the  best,  wisest  and  most 
worthy  of  the  tribe.  A  fact  from  which  we  might  draw 
many  useful  lessons.  In  its  meetings,  the  most  important 
topics  of  their  country  were  the  subjects  of  their  delibera 
tions;  nor  was  the  question  ever  asked  in  regard  to  any  new 
question  presented  before  that  body,  "If  there  was  any  money 
in  it?"  the  good  of  their  common  country  was  the  only  thing 
•discussed  or  even  thought  of.  It  was  a  body,  which,  in  point 


of  true  dignity,  if  not  of  wisdom,  has  seldom  been  equalled 
and  never  surpassed;  and  which  was  regarded  the  supreme 
power  of  the  tribal  commonwealth.  They  had  but  few  laws, 
but  the  few  were  rigidly  enforced. 

There  were  many  natural  orators  among-  the  ancient 
Choctaws  when  living1  in  undisturbed  prosperity  amTMiappi- 
ness  east  of  the  Mississippi  river.  Their  orations  were 
very  concise,  animating  and  abounding  in  many  beautiful  meta 
phors;  and  who,  had  they  possessed  the  embellishments  of  a 
refined  education,  would  have  compared  well  with  any  race 
of  mankind  that  ever  existed.  v 

The  Choctaws,  like  all  their  race,  deliberated  with  great 
dignity  and  solemnity  on  national  affairs;  and  jn  all  their 
assemblies,  both,  national  and  social,  everything-  was  carried 
on  in  the  best  order  and  unassumed  decorum.  Their  treaties 
were  ratified  by  smoking-  the  pipe  of  peace — an  emblem 
respected,  honored,  and  held  sacred  ^by  all  Indians  every 
where.  As  with  all  their  race,  so  war  was,  in  the  estimation 
of  the  ancient- Choctaws,  the  most  patriotic  avocation  in  which 
a  man  could  engage;  they  seldom  began  a  war  with  another 
tribe,  but  rather  waited  for  an  attack,  then  no  braver  or  more 
resolute  warriors  ever  went  upon  the  war-path.  The  open 
ing  of  hostilities  was  alwas  preceded  by  the  famous  Hoyopa- 
hihla,  War-dance.  Night  was  the  chosen  time  for  engaging-  in 
that  time-honored  ceremony;  and  as  soon  as  evening-  began 
to  spreadher  dark  mantle  o'er  their  forests, ahuge  pile  of  dry 
logs  and  brush  previously  prepared  was  set  on  fire,  whose' 
glaring  and  crackling  flames  intermingling- with  their  hoyopa- 
taloah  (war-songs)  and  soul-stirring  hoyopa-tassuhah  (war- 
hoops)  presented  a  scene  as  wild  and  romantic  as  can  possi 
bly  be  imagined. 

The  manly  forms  of  the  dusky  warriors  with  their  paint 
ed  faces  illuminated  with  the  wildest  excitement;  the  huge 
fire  blazing  and  crackling  in  the  centre  of  the  Wide  extended 
circle  of  excited  dancers,  which,  now  and  then,  a  kick  from  a 
dancing  warrior,  caused  to  send  the  flames  and  sparks 
hig-h  up  among-  the  wide  extended  branches  of  the  mighty 
forest  trees  that  stood  around;  the  stern  visages  of  the  old 
warriors,  whom  age  and  decrepitude  had  long  since  placed 
upon  the  retired  list  from  further  duty  upon  the  war-path  or 
in  the  chase,  sitting-  around  in  little  groups  where  the  light 
of  the  burning  log-heap  disputed  precedency  with  the  gloom 
of  night,,  calm  and  silent  spectators  of  the  weird  scene  in 
which  they  could  no  lorijger  participate,  but  which  awakened 
thrilling-  memories  of  the  past;  the  Goddess  Minerva's  fav 
orite  birds,  allured  from  their  dark  abode?}  in  the  forest  by 
the  glaring  light,  flitted  here  and  there  overhead  through 

254  HISTORY    OF   THE   mDIANS. 

the  extended  branches  of  the  overshadowing-  oaks,  and  anon 
joined  in  \vith  their  voices,  to  which  in  wild  response,  the 
distant  howl  of  a  pack  of  roving-  wolves  filled  up  the  meas 
ure  of  the  awe  inspiring-  scene.  But  those  who  have  wit 
nessed  it  will  not  be  easily  satisfied  with  any  vain  attempt  to 
d,epict  it  on  paper;  and  those  who  have  not  will  hardly  have 
their  anticipations  realized  by  anything-  short  of  the  opportun 
ity  of  judging  for  themselves.  Therefore,  have  I  contented 
myself  with  giving  a  mere  outline  of  my  own  impressions;  for 
he  who  would  attempt  to  picture  a  Choctaw  Hoyopa-hihla,  as 
it  was  exhibited  seventy  years  ago  in  the  midnight  solitudes 
of  a  Mississippi  forest,  would  have  to  aim  at  condensation  and 
exaggeration  and  yet  expect  failure  in  both;  for  adjectives 
would' only  confuse  and'sentences  but  veil  the  scene;  besides 
any  description  that  could  be  made  would  not  express  the 
-thousandth  part  of  what  ought  to  be  said,  and  if  but  a  weak 
picture  was  drawn,  even  then  it  would  be  called  the  wrild  hal 
lucinations  of  a  disordered  brain.  But  that  the  reader  may 
be  able  to  form  a  faint  idea  of  the  scene,  I  know  of  nothing 
more  appropriate,  (judging  from  what  I  have  read  and  also 
been  told  by  eye  witnesses)  to  which  it  ma}'  be  compared, 
than  a  Chicago  political  convention  of  the  present  age,  with 
this  exception  however;  the  yells  of  the  Indian  squaws  were 
not  heard  intermingling  with  the  war-whoops  of  the. forest 
warriors  in  wild  cadences  of  the  war-dance,  as  the  yells  of 
the  white  squaws  are  heard  mingling  with  the  political 
whoops  of  the  white  warriors  in  the  crazed  scenes  of  the  con 
ventional  dance. 

On  the  return  of  a  successful  war-path,  the  village  at 
once  became  the  scene  of  festivity  and  triumph.  The  varied 
trophies — scalps,  painted  shields,  etc.,  were  hung  on  poles 
near  the  houses.  Then  followed  war-feasts,  scalp-dances, 
.accompanied  with  war-songs  and  shouts  of  victory,-  while  the 
old  men  went  from  house  to  house  rehearsing  in 'a'  loud  tone 
•of  voice  the  events  of  the  battle  and  the  various  daring  ex 
ploits  of  the  warriors.  But,  amid  all  this,  sounds  of  another 
kind  were  also  heard  mingling  in  discordant  tones  with  those 
of  joy;  they  were  the  piteous  wailings  of  the  women  borne 
upon  the  air  from  the  surrounding  hills,  where  they  had 
retired  to  mourn  in  darkness  and  solitude  for  their  slain  in 
battle.  There  the  mother,  wife  and  sister  gave  full  sway  to 
the  anguish  of  their  hearts;  reminding  the  intelligent  hearer 
o£  that  affecting  pasasage  of  Scripture,  "In  Rama  was  there 
a  voice  heard,  lamentation,  and  weeping,  and  great  mourning, 
Rachel  weeping  for  her  children  and  would  not  be  comforted 
because  they  were  not." 

As  all  nations  of  the  human  family,  so   the    Choctaws   of 


both  sexes  delighted  in  ornaments.  Though  the  Choctaw 
warrior,  in  his  training"  for  the  duties  of  manhood,  inured 
himself  to  fatigue  and  privation, and  in  defense  of  his  country 
and  home,  and  resenting  an  insult,  was  as  brave  as  bravery 
itself;  yet  he  was  fond  of  admiring  himself  before  a  mirror 
when  arrayed  in  the  paraphernalia  of  Choctaw  fashion;  i.  e.  a 
red  turban,  highly  decorated  writh  the  gay  plumage  of  various 
kinds  of  birds  encircling  his  head;  with  face  painted  accord- 
to  Choctaw  etiquette;  with  crescents  of  highly  polished  tin 
supended  from  his  neck  and  extending  in  regular  order 
from  the  chin  to  the  waist;  with  shining  bracelets  of  the  same 
metal  encircling  his  wrists  and  arms  above  the  elbows;  with 
a  broad  belt  around  his  waist,  tastily  interwoven  with 
innumerable  little  beads  of  every  gay  and  flashing  color; 
with  feet  encased  in  moccasins  soft  and  pliant,  and  highly 
decorated  with  little  beads  of  sparkling  hue.  did  the  young 
Choctaw  warrior  walk  forth  among  the  admiring  beauties  of 
his  tribe  as  much  the  personification  of  a  modern,  first-class, 
white  dude,  complete  and  perfect,  as  ever  contested  for  the 
honor  of  superiority  in  the  "laudable"  occupation;,  yielding 
the  palm  of  victor}7  to  his  pale-face  brother  disputant,  only  in 
the  "gift  of  continuance;1'  since  the  Choctaw,  after  indulging 
in  momentary  paroxysms  of  self-admiration,  .turned  from  his 
mirror,  doffed  his  effeminate  plumage  to  soon  forget  what 
manner  of  man  he  appeared,  since  the  thought  of  his  noble 
aspirations  and  strivings  returned  to  excel  as  a  warrior  and 
conselor  in  his  nation,  but  leaving  his  pale-face  opponent 
master  of  the  field  to  live  and  die  contented  and  happ}-  in  his 

The  Choctaws  were  strong  in  their  belief  in  the  exist 
ence  of  hat-tak  holth-kun-a  Twitches);  even  as  our  own  "en- 
-Tightened"  ancestors  in  the  days  of  Cotton  Mather — differ 
ing,  however,  in  this  particular;  the  Choctaws  selected  old 
and  decrepit  women  as  victims  of  their  superstitions,  wrhile 
their  white  brothers,  whose  boasted  civilization  had  rendered 
a  little  more  fastidious,  manifested  their  superiority  in 
intellectual  attainments  over  the  Indians,  by  selecting  the 
young  as  the  victims  of  their  wild  theories.  But  ghosts 
and  witches. have'  long  since  been  to  the  Choctaws  as  things 
r>f  the  forgotten  past. 

The  restless  and  fertile  imagination  of  the  Choctaws, 
.as  well  as  all  their  race,  peopled  with  beings  of  a  higher  or 
der  than  themselves  the  mountains,  plains,  woods,  lakes, 
fountains  and  streams.  But  in  regard  to  the  origin  of  man, 
the  one  generally  accepted  among  the  Choctaws,  as  well  as 
many  other  tribes  was  that  man  and  all  other  forms  of  life 
had  originated  froin^  the  common  mother  earth  through  the 


agency  of  the  Great  Spirit;  but  believed  that 'the,lruman  race- 
sprang-  from  many  different  primeval  pairs  created  by  the 
Great  Spirit  in  the  various  parts  of  the  earth  in  which  man 
was  found;  and  according  to  the  different  natural  features  of 
the  world  in  which  man  abode,  so  their  views  varied  with 
regard  'to  the  substance  of  which  man  was  created;  in  a 
country  of  vast  forests,  they  believed  the  primeval  pair,  o'r 
pairs,  sprang  from  the  trees;  in  a  mountainous  and  rocky 
district  of  country,  they  sprang  from  the  rocks;  in  valleys 
and  prairies,  from  the  earth;  but  their  views  as  to  the  time 
this  creation  of  man  took  place,  whether  at  the  same  time 
throughout  the  various  inhabited  regions  or  at  different 
periods,  their  traditions  are  silent. 

To  the  unlettered  and  untutored  mind  of  man  through 
out' the  world,  all  things  are  endowed  with  individuality  and 
life;  from  which  arose,  no  doubt,  the  great  number  of  mystic 
conceptions,  regarding  the  sun,  moon,  stars,  clouds,  winds 
and  storms,  as  being  animate  bodies,  possessing  life  as  all 
animate  creatures.  The  traditions  of  some  of  the  North 
American  Indian  tribes  are  said  to  state,  that  the  sun  was 
once  caught  in  a  snare  by  a  great  hunter,  and  was  set  free 
by  the  moles,  but  at  the  loss  of  their  eyes  from  its  intense 
light,  and  have  ever  since  been  blind.  Perhaps  the  primi 
tive  fathers  of  those  tribes  possessed  sonie  knowledge  of 
Joshua's  command  to  the  orb  of  day.  Brinton  states  in  his 
"Myths  of  the  New  World,"  page  55,  that  the  legend  of  the 
Peruvian  Incas,  in  regard  to  the  sun,  is\  "He  is  like  a  teth 
ered  beast  who  makes  a  daily  round  under  the  eye  of  a 
master."  Many  of  the  North  American  Indian  tribes  be-  . 
lieved,  in  regard  to  the  eclipse  of  "the  sun  and  moon,  that 
some  animal,  wolf,  dog,  etc.,  was  devouring  the  sun,  and'  every  effort  to  drive  him  away.  Some  whipped  their 
own  dogs  during  an  eclipse  because  a  "Big  dog"  was  eating 
the  sun  or  moon,  and  believed  the  "Big  dog"  might  be  in 
duced  to  postpone  his  meal  by  the  howls  of  their  whipped 

p?he  ancient  Choctaws  believed  an  eclipse  was  caused  by 
a  little  black  squirrel,  which  had  resolved  to  devour  the  sun, 
and  which  could  only  be  saved  from  the  little  gormandizer 
by  frightening  him  away  by  a  great  noise,  to  which  I  have, 
more  than  once,  been  an  eye  witness,  and  to  the  modus  oper- 
randi  adopted  to  give'him  a  scare;  and  also  testify  from  ex 
perience  as  to  the  virtues  of  the  music;  at  least  the  sun  came 
out  all  right;  but  as  to  the  strict  adherence  to  the  accepted 
rules  of  harmony  during  the  performance,  I  will  write  more 
definitely  on  some  other  page.  It  is  also  stated,  that  the 
South  American  Indians  believed  that  the  moon,  when  in  an 


eclipse,  was  being"  devoured  by  dog's,  and,  to  scare  them  off,, 
the  natives,  made  a  great  noise.  (Tyler,  "Culture,"  Vol.  1, 
p.  296.)  Also  of  the  African  Moors,  says  Grimm,  "Teuto 
nic  Mythology,"  Vol,  2,  p.  707.  When  the  sun  eclipse  was  at 
its  highest,  we  saw  the  people  running-  about  as  if  mad,  and 
firing  their  guns  at  the  sun,  to  frighten  the  monster  who, 
they  supposed,  was  wishing  to  devour  i^ie  orb  of  day.  The 
women  banged  copper  vessels  together,  making  such  a  din 
that  it  was  heard  miles  away."  ( 

A  legend  of  the  Mongolians  states  that  a  monster  con 
tinually  pursues  the  sun  and  moon,  and  when  overtaking  the 
one  or  the  other  an  eclipse  is  the  result.  The  Chinese  be 
lieve,  even  at  the  present  day,  the  sun  and  moon  are  being 
devoured  by  a  great  dragon  during  an  eclipse.  During  the 
eclipse  of  the  sun  in  1887,  the  Chinese  authorities,  in  accord 
ance  with  the  usage  of  the  empire,  commanded  the  Buddhist 
and  Tauist  priests  to  perform  their  incantations  to  rescue 
thejsun "from  the  jaws  of  a  devouring  monster.  It  was  at 
the  time  of  the  celebration  of  the  Emperor's  birthday, 
when  all  the  officials  were  required  to  wear  embroidered 
robes;  but  it  is  also  the  law  that  during  an  eclipse  officials 
who  participate  in  the  ceremonies  must  wear  ordinary 
clothing  until  the  sun  is  rescued.  An  edict  had  to  be  ob 
tained  from  the  Emperor  to  settle  it.  He  ordered  the  offi 
cials  to  ignore  .his  birthday  and  attend  to  the  wants  of  th& 
sun.  So  they  all  wore  ordinary  clothes,  The  EstheJfflabtis. 
believed  the  sun  and  moon  were  being  eaten  during  art 
eclipse  by  som^  animal,  and  endeavored  to  frighten  it  away 
by  conjuring.  "The  Hindoos,  to  this  day,  -believe  that  a- 
giant  lays  hold  of  the  luminaries,  and  tries  to  swallow  t&em.. 
The.  Romans  flung  fire-brands  into  the  air  and  blew  trum 
pets  and  clanged  brazen  pots  and  pans."  During  an  eclipse 
in  the  17th  century  the  Celtics  "run  about  beating  kettles 
and  pans  thinking  their  clamor  and  vexations  available  to  the 
assistance  of  'the  higher  orbs."  (Tyler,  Op.  Cit.  p.  301.) 
So  also  it  is  s*aid  of  the  Northern  Asiatics,  and  of  the  Finns 
of  Eurdpe. 

N     The  traditions  of  the  Polynesians  state  that  Mauiand  his 
brothers  thought  the  sun  went  too  fast  for  their  convenience 
and    determined  to    check  him;  therefore,  they  made  strong-' 
ropes,  and  then  went  "very  far  to  the  eastward,  and  came  to 
the   very   edge   of  the   place   out  . of   which   the   s>un   rises." 
There  they  placed  a  noose  to   catch  the  sun.     "He   rises  up 
his  head  passes  through  the   noose,  and  it  takes>in  more   and 
more  of   his   body,    uqftil  his  fore   paws  pass  Through;   then 
are    pulled    tight   the   ropes.     The   sun   screams   aloud;   he 
roars;  Maui  strikes  him   fiercely  'with   many  blows.     They 

258  I     HISTORY    OF    THE   INDIANS. 

hold  him  for  a  long-  time;  at  last  they  let  him  go;  and  then 
weak  from  wounds  the  sun  crept  slowly  along-  his  course." 
(Grey's  Polynesian  Mythology,  p.  35-8.)  It  is  said,  however, 
that  there  are  different  versions  of  this  legend;  one,  that 
Maui  finally  released  the  sun;  another  that  he  still  has  him 
roped,  and  holds  him  in  check;  .and  the  Polynesians  still  be 
lieve  they  can-  see  the  ropes  at  the  rising  and  setting  of  the 
sun,  to  which  they  point  and  exclaim — "Behold  the  ropes  of 
Maui,"  while  we"  say,  "the  sun  is  drawing  water,"  both 
equally  absurd. 

The  Australians,  it  is  said,  regarded  the  sun  as  a  woman. 
"Every  night  she  descends  among  the  dead,  who  stand  in 
double  lines  to  greet  her  and  let  her  pass.  She  has  a  lover 
among  the  dead,  who  has  presented  her  with  a  red  kangaroo 
skin,  and  in  this  she  appears  at  her  rising."  To  us  how 
foolish,  yet  how  similar  to  our  own  ancestors,  who  regarded 
the  dawn  a  red  cow,  and  the  sun  her  calf.  (Zoological  Mytho 
logy,  Vol.  1,  p.  50.)  So  also  of  the  Vedas  whose  Ushas  (Dawn) 
"opens  the  darkness  as  a  cow  her  stall."  Hence  the  sacred- 
ness  of  the  cow  to  the  Hindoos  in  their  worship;  and  also,  it 
might  be  added,  the  red  heifer  among  the  Israelites.  (Num. 

And  thus  it  appears  that  all  other  nations  of  mankind 
are,  and  have  been,  theorizers,  even  as  the  North  American 
Indians;  and  though  these  theories  were  crude  yet  they 
found  embodiment  in  stories  handed  down  to  posterity  as 
traditions  and  legends.  They  were  not  allegories,  but  man 
:in  his  primitive  state  endeavoring-  to  find  out  and  to  explain 
the  mysteries  of  nature  around  him;  and,  as  learning  -and 
intelligence  advanced,  these  absurdities  passed  alike  into 
forgeifulness.  So  it  is  evident,  we  have  little  ground  upon 
which  to  base  our  contempt  for  the  Indians  in  regard  to  their 
myths,  since  we  have  also  passed  through  the  same. 

The  Choctaws  had  several  classes  of  dignitaries  among 
-.them  who  were  held  in  the  hig'hest  reverence:  The  Medi 
cine  Man  or  Prophet,  the  Rain  Maker,  the  Doctor — a  verita 
ble  chip  of  Esculapius.  Well  indeed  did  each  fill  his  allotted 
position  in  life,  and  faithfully  discharge  the  mystic  duties 
appertaining  thereunto,  both  in  their  own  opinion  as  well  as 
that  of  their  people.  The  Choctaws'  Materia  Medica,  like 
all  their  race,  was  Nature,  herbs  and  roots  furnishing 
their  remedies  both  externally  and  internally;  and  the 
success  with  which  they  used  those  remedies  proved 
their  knowledge  of  the  healing  properties  of  the  various 
herbs  and  roots"  in,. which  their  extensive  forests  abounded. 
They  had  a  specific  for  the,  bite  of  the  sintullo  (rattle  snake). 
Their  doctors  relied  much  .  on  dry-cupping-,  using  their 


mouth  alone  in  all  such  cases.  Oft  have  I  witnessed  the 
Choctaw  physician,  east  of  the  Mississippi  river,  administer 
ing  to  the  necessities  of  his  suffering-  patient  throug-h  the 
virtues  found  in  the  process  of  dry-cupping;.  Stretching  the 
sufferer  upon  a  blanket  spread  upon  the  ground,  he  kneeled 
beside  him  and  began  a  process  of  sucking  that  part  of  the 
body  of  which  the  patient  complained,  or  where,  in  his  own 
judgment,  the  disease  was  located,  making  a  guttural  noise 
during  the  operation  that  reminded  one  of  dog-  worrying-  an 
opossum;  at  different  intervals  raising  his  head  a  few  inches 
and  pretending'  to  deposit  into  his  hands,  alternately  in  the 
one  and  the  other,  an  invisible 'something  which  he  had 
drawn  from  his  patient,  by  a  magic  power-  known  alone  to 

After  sucking  a  sufficient  length  of  time  to  nil  both 
hands,  judging  from  the  frequent  deposits  -  therein  made, 
-with  great  apparent  dignity  and  solemn  gravity,  this  worthy 
son  of  Esculapius  arose  and  stepping  to  the  nearest  tf  ee, 
post,  or  fence,  wiped  the  secret  contents  of  his  apparently 
full  hands  thereon;  then  with  an  air  of  marked  importance 
walked  away  to  the  enjoyments  of  his  own  reflections,  while 
the  sufferer,  in  real  or  fancied  relief,  acknowledged  the  efficacy 
of  the  physician's  healing  powers  by  ceasing  to  complain, 
turned  over  and  sought  forgetfulness  in  the  arms  of  refresh 
ing  sleep.  If  there  ensued  a  change  for  the  better  he  claimed 
the  honor  and  praise  as  due  the  noble  profession  of  which  he 
recognized  himself  a  worthy  and  important  member;  but  if 
the  disease  proved  stubborn  and  refused  to  yield  to  the  medi 
cinal  virtues  of  his  herbs,  roots  and\  dry-cupping,  he  turned 
to  his  last  resort — the  Anuka,  (Hot-house.)  This  edifice,  an 
important  adjunct  in  all  ChoctawT  villages,  was  made  of  logs 
rendered  nearly  air  tight  by  stopping  all  cracks  with  mortar. 
A  little  hole  was  left  on  one  side  for  an  entrance.  A  fire  was 
built  in  the  centre  of  this  narrow  enclosure,  and  soon  the 
temperature  within  was  raised  to  the  desired  degree,  then 
the  fire  wras  taken  out  and  the  patient  instructed  to  crawl  in; 
which  being  done,  the  little  opening  was  closed.  As  a  matter 
of  course,  the  patient  must  bake  or  sweat;  wrhich,  however, 
resulted  in  the  latter;  and  when,  in  the  opinion  of  the  Alikchi, 
(doctor)  he  had  undergone  a  thorough  sweating,  the  entrance 
was  opened,  and  the  patient  bidden  to  come  forth;  who,  upon 
his  exit,  at  once  runs  to  the  nearest  water  into  which  he 
plunged  head  first;  but  if  not  of  sufficient  amount  and  depth 
for  the  correct  performance  of  that  ceremony  to  its  fullest 
extent,  he  ducks  his  head  into  it  several  times,  thus  making 
practical  the  wholesome  theory  of  the  hygienist:  "Keep 
your  head  cool,  but  your  feet  warm."  In  case  of  common 


intermittent  fever,  the  efficiency  of  this  mode  of  proceeding- 
(the  sweat  and  cold  bath)  was  truly  astonishing-,  seldom 
failing-  to  effect  a  cure. 

But  if  the  patient  died — ah,  then!  with  that  shrewdness 
pecular  to  all  quacks  the  world  over,  he  readily  found  a 
cause  upon  which  to  base  his  excuse  for  his  inefficacy  to 
effect  a  cure;  differing  somewhat,  however,  from  his  white 
brother  alikchi,  who  attributes  the  cause  of  his  failure  to 
innumerable  "where-as-es  and  ifs,"  while  he  openly  ackowl- 
edged  and  emphatically  declared  the  interposition  of  a  hat- 
tak  holth-kun-na  (witch),  which  counteracting  the  beneficial 
virtues  of  his  remedies,  had  caused  the  death  of  his  patient 
by  thus  placing  him  beyond  the  reach  of  mortal  skill,  noth 
ing  more  nor  less.  Sometimes,  for  the  sake  of  variety,  he 
attributed  the  death  of  his  patient,  if  occurring  very  sudden 
ly,  to  an  Ish  tulbih  (witch  ball)  shot  from  an  invisible  rifle  in 
the  hands  of  a  witch.  At  this  important  juncture  of  affairs, 
it  now  becomes  his  duty  to  find  the  witch  that  he,  she,  or  it, 
may  be  brought  to  pay  the  penalty  of  the  law  in  all  such 
cases — death.  As  a  matter  of  course,  the  doctor,  not  very 
scrupulous  in  the  matter  of  shifting- the  blame  from  his  own 
shoulders  to  that  of  another — so  natural  to  all  mankind— 
easily  found  a  witch  in  the  person  of  some  attenuated  bid 
woman,  whom  he  designated  as  the  guilty  party,  and  who 
consequently  was  immediately  slain  by  the  relatives  of  the 
deceased;  an  illustration  of  which  I  have  already  given  in  the 
case  of  the  unfortunate  Il-lich-ih. 

In  the  matter  of  rain,  the  Choctaw  Rainmaker  truly 
swayed  the  sceptre  of  authority  in  that  line  of  art,  uiidis- 

Euted,  and  was  regarded  with  reverential  awe  by  his  people, 
n  all  cases  of  protracted  drouth,  which  was  quite  frequent 
at  an  early  day  in  their  ancient  domains,  the  Hut-tak  Um-ba 
7  Ik-bi,  (man  rain  maker)  was  regarded  as  the  personage  in 
whom  alone  was  vested  the  power  to  create  rain;  therefore 
to  him  they  went  with  their  offerings  and  supplications,  the 
former,  however,  partaking  more  of  a  persuasive  nature  than 
the  latter,  in  the  judgment  of  the  Umba  Ikbi,  as  an  effectual 
means  to  bring  into  requisition  his  mysterious  power  in  the 
matter  of  rain.  He  without  hesitation  promised  to  heed 
their  solicitations,  but  gently  hinting  that,  in  his  judgment, 
the  offerings  were  not  in  as  exact  ratio  to  their  importuni 
ties  as  they  should  have  been.  However,  he  now  assumes 
an  air  of  mysterious  thoughtfulness  and,  "grand,  gloomy 
and  peculiar  wrapped  in  the  solitude  of  his  own  imagina 
tion,"  strolled  from  village  to  village,  gazing  at  the  sun  by 
day  and  the  stars  by  night,  seeming  to  hold  communion  with 
the  spirits  of  the  upper  worlds;  finally  he  ventured  his^repu- 


tation  by  specifying-  a  certain  day  upon  which  he  would 
make  it  rain.  The  day  arrived,  and  if  haply  came 
with  it  a  rain  the  faith  of  his  dupes wasconfirmed,  his  mystic 
power  unquestioned,  and  the  Umba  Ikbi  made  comfortable. 
But  if  otherwise,  he  did  not  as  the  Alikchi,  attribute  his  fail 
ure  to  the  counteracting  influence  of  a  witch  in  the  person 
of  an  old  woman,  but  to  that  of  a  brother  Umba  Ikbi  living- in 
some  remote  part  of  the  nation,  with  whom  he  was  just  then 
at  variance.  He  now  informs  his  unfortunate  b.ut  not  faith 
less  people  that  /an  Umba  Ikbi's  mind  must  be  free  of  all 
contending-  emotions  while  engaged  in  the  mystic  ceremo 
nies  of  rain  making;  that  he  was  now  angry,  too  much  mad 
to  make  it  rain.  Upon  which  announcement,  the  now  de 
spairing  people  earnestly  solicited  to  know  if  they,  in  any 
way  could  assuage  his  wrath.  Pie  replied  in'  the  negative; 
but  promised,  however,  to  consider  the  matter  as  soon  as  his 
anger  abated.  He  now  became  more  reserved;  sought  soli 
tude  where  undisturbed  he  might  scan  the  sky  and  per 
chance  discern  some  sign  of  rain.  Sooner  or  later,  he 
discovers  a  little-hazv  cloud  stretched  along  the  distant 
western  horizon;,  attentively  and  carefully  watches  it  as 
broader  and  higher  it  ascends,  until  he  feels  sure  he  can 
safely  risk  another  promise;  then  leaves  his  place  of  secret 
and  thoughtful  meditation,  and,  with  countenance  fair  as  a 
summer  morn,  presents  himself  before  his  despairing 
people  and  announces  his  anger  cooled  and  wrath  departed; 
that  now  he  would  bring  rain  without  delay,  yet  drqpping  I 
casual  hint  as  to  the  efficacy  of  a  coveted  pony,  cow,  blanket, 
etc.,  being  added,  as  a  surer  guarantee,  since  "the  Jaborer 
was  worthy  his  hire."  The  hint  was  comprehended  and 
fully  complied  with  in  hopeful  expectation.  Anon  the  low 
muttering  thunder  vibrates  along  the  western  horizon  in 
audible  tones,  and  the  lightning  flash  is  seen  athwart  the 
western  sky  heralding  the  gathering  and  approaching  storm; 
soon  the  sky  is  overcast  with  clouds  of  blackest  hue  while 
the  lightning's  flash  and  the  thunder's  roar  seem  to  proclaim 
to  the  people  their  wonderful  Umba  Ikbi's  secret  power  in 
the  affair  of  rain;  and,  as  the  vast  sheets  of  falling  water  wet 
the  parched  earth  they  sing  his  praise;  which  he,  with  as 
sumed  indifference,  acknowledged  with  an  approving  grunt; 
then,  with  measured  steps,  sought  his  home,  there  to  await 
another  necessity  that  would  call  him  forth  to  again  deceive 
his  credulous  admirers.  But  all  such  delusions  soon  van 
ished  before  the  teachings  of  the  missionaries. 

In  connection  with  this  peculiar  one  of  the   Choctaws,  I 
will  here  relate  an  incident  that  took'  place   during-  a  great 


drouth  that  prevailed  in  their   Nation   soon   after  the  estab 
lishment  of  the  mission  called  Hebron. 

The  Rain  Maker  had  long-  been  appealed  to  through  sup 
plications  and  fees,  but  all  in  vain;  and  it  seemed  that  the 
stubborn  drouth  had  united! -.vith  more  than  one  distant  broth 
er  Umba  Ikbi  in  rendering-  his  present  worship  prodigiously 
mad,  not  only  with  them  but  also  with  himself  and  the  world 
in  general,  as  his  ears  seemed  deaf  to  all  appeals  upon  the 
subject  of  water.  Since  wells  and  cisterns  were  luxuries 
then  unknown  to  the  Indians,  they  depended  upon  their 
rivers,  creeks,  lakes  and  ponds,  which  seldom  failed  to  sup 
ply.  Amid  the  prevailing  gloom  an  aged  Choctaw  widow 
named  Im-ai-yah  (to  go  by)  living  two  miles  south  of  Hebron, 
came  one  day,  as  she  oft  had  done  before,  to  talk  with  her 
pale-face  friend,  Mrs.  Cushman,  concerning  the  drouth.  She 
soon  stated  that  she  believed  there  would  be  plenty  of  rain  in 
a  few  days.  When  asked  upon  what  she  based  her  belief, 
she  replied:  "On  my  way  here  this  morning,  I  sat  down  at 
the  roots  of  a  large  tree;  while  sitting  there  these  thoughts 
came  to  me.  Our  Rain  Maker  cannot  make  it  rain,  or  he 
would.  If  he  can  make  it  rain,  why  should  not  I  be  able  to 
make  it  rain  too?  Why  should  not  anyone?  Then  I  asked 
myself;  who  made  this  big  tree?  Somebody  made  it,  and  he 
who  made  it  surely  can  make  it  rain  too.  I  know  he  can;  and 
I  will  ask  him  to  please  make  it  rain  very  soon.  I  then  kneel 
ed  down  at  the  roots  of  that  big  tree  and  earnestly  prayed  to 
him  who  made  the  big  tree  to  please  make  it  rain;  and  while 
I  was  praying  a  little  cloud  formed  directly  over  the  tree, 
and  a  little  shower  fell  and  many  of  the  drops  of  water,  pass 
ing  through  the  leaves  of  the  tree,  fell  on  me.  I  know  now 
who  can  make  it  rain."  "Who?"  earnestly  asked  the  deeply 
interested  pale-face  listener.  "He  who  made  that  tree.  Is 
he  your  God  of  whom  you  have  told  me?"  "He  is,"  replied 
the  poor  widow's  pale-face  friend  and  spiritual  teacher.  But 
I  will  leave  the  further  conversation  that  ensued  betwen  the 
two  red  and  white  friends  to  the  imagination  of  the  reader, 
with  this  only:  No  two  women  were  more  devoted  friends, 
the  one  to  the  other,  than  were  the  poor  Choctaw  widow  and 
the  "pale-face"  missionary.  But  what  of  that  prayer  at  the 
roots  of  that  "big  tree?"  It  was  heard  and  answered  by  the 
Maker  of  that  "big  tree;"  who  has  said,  "I  will  not  bruise  the 
broken  reed  nor  quench  the  smoking  flax."  Yes,  in  a  few 
days,  an  abundance  of  rain  fell;  yea,  more.  From  that  xime 
the  mystic  power  of  the  Umba  Ikbis  began  to  wane,  and  soon 
vanished  as  a  summer  dream  from  the  Choctaw  Nation. 
And  he  who  cannot  believe  that  Israel's  God  heard  the  hum 
ble  request  of  that  earnest  petitioner,  and  did  not  then  and 


there  acknowledge  its  virtue  in  th.^  little  shower  of  rain,  and 
in  a  few  days  answer  -that  prayer  of  faith  by  an  abundant 
shower,  is  thrice  welcome  to  his  unbelief. 

Their  laws  (for  they  had  laws,)  though  exceptional  in 
some  respects  to  the  White  Race,  nevertheless,  were  good, 
and  quite  consistent  with  the  nations  of  a  primitive  age.  But 
like  all  others  of  their  race*,  their  severest  law  was  that  of 
blood  revenge.  ''Whosoever^sheddeth 'man's  blood,  by  man 
shall  his  blood  be  shed"  was  a  statute  rigidly  enforced  among 
all  North  American  Indians.  It  was  acknowledged  among  all, 
not  only  to  be  the  right,  but  also  the  imperative  duty  of  the 
nearest  relative  on  the  male  side  of  the  slain,  to  kill  the  slayer 
wherever  and  whenever  a  favorable  opportunity  was  presented. 
Under  many  existing  circumstances  the  law  might,  perhaps, 
have  bee'n  just  and  salutary;  but  unfortunately  it  went  too 
far,  as  any  male  member  of  the  murderer's  family,  though 
innocent  and  even  ignorant  of  the- crime,  might  become  the 
victim  of  the  avenger  of  blood,  if  the  guilty  had  fled;  but 
such  seldom  occurred,  as  the  murderer  rarely  ever  made  any 
effort  whatever  to  escape,  but  passively  submitted  to  his  fate. 
Still,  this  law,  revolting  as  it  .may  appear  to  many,  exercised 
a  good  influence  among  the  Choctaws,  as  it  had  a  salutary 
effect  in  restraining  them  in  the  heat  of  passion,  by  render 
ing  them  cautious  in  their  disputes  and  quarrels,  lest  blood 
should  be  shed;  knowing  the  absolute  certainty  of  murder 
being  avenged  sooner  or  later  upon  the  murderer  himself,  or 
some  one  of  his  nearest  male  relatives;  hence  110  man,  or 
family,  would  with  impunity  commit  or  permit,  if  they  could 
avoid  or  prevent  it,  an  act  that  would  be  sure  to  be  avenged, 
no  one  could  tell  when  or  where.  Days,  weeks,  and -even 
months  perhaps,|might  pass,  yet  the  avenger  sleepeth  not  nor 
has  he  forgotten;  and,  at  an  hour  least  expected  and  from  a 
source  least  apprehended,  the  blow  at  last  falls,  and  there 
the  matter  ends.  Nor  did  the  slayer  find  any  protection 
from  any  source  whatever,  not.  even  from  his  nearest  rela 
tives.  Yet  calmly  and  with  stoical  indifference  awaited  his 
certain  doom;  nor  was  the  avenger,  though  known,  inter 
rupted  in  any  .manner  whatever,  either  before  or  after  he  had 
accomplished  his  revenge.  The  avenger  of  blood  never  took 
the  life  of  a  female  of  the  slayer's  family,  but  satisfied  him 
self  in  the  death  of  the  slayer  himself  or  in  the  person  of  some-, 
one  of  his  nearest  male  relatives.  If  the  murderer  had  fled, 
and  the  life  of  one  of  his  male  relatives  had  been  sacrificed  in 
lieu  of  his  own,  he.  then  could  return  without  fear  of  molesta 
tion;  but  the  name  of  coward  was  given  to  him — an  appella 
tion  more  dreaded  and  less  endurable  than  a  hundred  deaths 
to  all  North  American  Indians.. 


A  few  instances  have  -been  known  among"  the  Choctaws, 
where  a  relative  proposed  tp-die  for  the  slayer,  and  was  ac 
cepted  on  the  part  of  ttfe  relatives  of  the  slain;  but  such 
instances  were  very  rare.  I  remember  of  an  instance  re 
lated,  of  undoubted  authority,  whilch  deserves  to  be  held  in 
lasting-  remembrance  if  nothing-  more  than  to  forever  silence 
and  put  to  eternal  shame  the  foolish  croaking-s  of  those  who 
deny  to  the  Indian  the  possession  of  any  of  the  finer  feelings 
and  emotions  of  the. heart,  and  to  establish  the  fact  that  the 
height,  -depth,  and  breadth  of  an  Indian  mother's  love  can 
only  be  equalled  by.  that  of  her  wh^te  sister,  **botlr  immeasur 
able,  incomprehensible,  unfathomable.  The  case  which  I 
here  relate,  was  Toh-to  Pe-hah  (Red  Elm  Gathered  Up), -an 
aged  Choctaw  mother,  who  gave  her  life  for  that  of  her  old 
est  son; and  which  clearly  illustrates  the  depth  and  strength, 
the  sensibility  and  tenderness  of  maternal  affection  in  an 
Indian  woman,  whose  name,  had  she  lived  in  the  days  of 
classic  lore,  wduld  have  been  handed  down  to  all  future  ages 
in  the  songs  of  the  poet  minstrels,  and  upon  the  pages  of  the 
historians.  But  alas!  she  was  unfortunately  an  Indian  and 
virtue  in  an  Indian  is,  with  many  of  the  present  day,  not  a 
virtue;  while  vice,  in  their  defamers,  is.  This  poor  widowed 
Choctaw  mother,  ^pame  with  others  of  her  friends  to  the 
place  of  execution  on  the  day  her  son  was  to  be  shot  for  kill 
ing  an  aged  Choctaw  man  living  many  miles  distant  from 
that  of  his  own  home.  This  killing  was  done  before  the 
establishment  of.  the  law  that  the  slayer  should  be  tried  by 
law,  and  no  longer  left  in  the  hands  of  the  "avenger  of 
blood."  Of  her  four  children  he  was  the  oldest,  her  darling 
first-born,  on  whom  she  mainly  depended  for  assistance  in 
the  support  of  her  little  family,  and  whom  she  had  named 
Hoh-tak  Lah-ba  (Luke  Warm). 

When  the  mother  arrived  at  the  place  of  execution,  she 
found  many  had  already  assembled;  but  with  emotions,  felt 
and  known  only  by  and  to  a  mother,  she  pressed  through  the 
throng  to  where  her  doomed  boy  stood,  close  to  the  execu 
tioner  with  the  deadly  rifle  in  hand,  upon  which  Hohtak  Lah- 
Iba  looked  with  steady  eye  and  unshaken  nerves.  All  were 
silent.  Not  a  whisper  disturbed  the  profound  hush  that 
rested  like  a  gloomy  pall  upon  that  assembly.  The  mother 
glanced  a  look  of  love  at  the  erect  form  of  her  son,  who  stood 
as  a  statue  before  her  eyes;  then  turned  them  a  moment  upon 
the  executioner  with  an  appealing  look  for  compassion;  then 
beseechingly  upon  the  relatives  of  the  man  slain,  and  at  once 
broke  the  silence  with  an  irresistible  appeal  to  them  to  take 
her  life  instead. of  Hohtak  Lahba's.  uHe  is  young,  and  I  am 
old,"  she  cried.  "His  wife  and  child,  his  two  little  sisters  and 

HISTORY    OF    THE    INDIANS.  265 

"brother,  will  suffer  if  he  is  taken  from  them.  They  cannot 
live  without  him,  they  can  without  me.  I  am  old  and  can  do 
but  little  for  them,  nor  that  little  long.  Your  relative  he 
killed  was  an  old  man.  Why  take  a  young1  life  for  an  old  life? 
Take  mine  in  the  place  of  Hohtak  Lahba's.  Let  the  avenger 
of  the  death  of  your  kinsman  be  satisfied  with  my  death. 
Blood  for  blood  satisfies  our  violated  law.  It  seeks  no  more, 
it  demands  no  more.  What  more  should  vou  require?  Speak 
kinsman  of  the  dead!  Will  you  accept  my  life  as  sufficient 
propitiation,  a  just  compensation  for  the  life  of  your  slain? 
I  await  your  answer."  A  murmur  of  approval  was  heard  in 
the  crowd,  and  soon  one  of  the  nearest  in  kindred  to  the  slain 
arose  and  accepted  the  offer  in  a  firm  and  distinct  tone  of 
voice.  A  smile  of  joy  lit  up  the  countenance  of  Toh-to  Pe-hah 
as  she  responded,  '"Tis  well."  A  few  moments  were  given 
her  to  bid  an  adieu  to  her  loved  ones,  and  give  her  last 
admonitions  to  her  wayward  boy;  after  which  she  calmly 
presented  herself  before  the  executioner,  and,  nerved  with 
a  mother's  love  that  bids  defiance  to  fear,  bade  him  do  his 
duty.  Then  the  sjiarp  crack  of  the  rifle  broke  the  profound 
stillness  of  the'  moment,  and  the  spirit  of  that  loving  Choc- 
taw  mother  winged  its  flight  to  Him*  who  has  said:  "Where 
little  is  given,  little  is  required."  Such  was  the  custom  of 
this  peculiar  people  in  the  years  of  the  long  ago.^  v\'An  eye 
for  an  eye,  and  a  tooth  for  a  tooth,"  was  ever  found 
written  in  all  Indians'  code  of  laws,  and  to  the  execution  of 
which  they  adhered  with  the  strictest  punctuality.  The 
spirit  of  the  murdered  Indian  could  never  take  its  flight  from 
earth,  or  find  rest  anywhere  in  the  eternal  unknown,  until 
blood  had  atoned  for  blood,  a  belief  as  firmly  fixed  upon  the 
Indian  heart  as  that  upon  the  Christian's,  that  the  blood  of 
the  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  the  Son  of  God,  atoned  for  the  sins  of 
the  world. y 

It  is  natural  to  suppose  that  Hohtak  Lahba  would  have 
refused  the  offer  of  his  devoted  mother.  But  custom  denied 
him  the  privilege  of  any  action,  whatever  in  the  matter.  If 
the  offer  was  made  and  accepted  by  the  relatives  of  the  slain, 
he  no  longer  stood  condemned  before  the  violated  law,  or  in 
the  eyes  of  the  avenger,  and  he  or  she,  who  had  voluntarily 
assumed  the  position,  could  only  make  the  atonement.  The 
mother,  in  this  case,  had  offered  her  life,  a  voluntary  sacri- 
.  fice  for  that  of  her  son's;  it  had  been  accepted  as  a  sufficiency 
by  the  avenger,  and,  even  as  the  law  of  the  Medes  and  Per 
sians  that  "changeth  not,"  so  Tohto  Pehah  could  not  re 
verse  her  accepted  proposal,  even  if  she  had  relented,  nor 
the  son  refuse,  she  must  die,  and  Hoh  tak  Lahba  must  live; 
and  the  Amen  was  the  response  of  the  law.  Yne  unfortu- 


nate  Hoh  tak  Lahba,  though  the  avenger  of  the  blood  of  his 
slain  victim  had  beenappeasedat  a  fearfulcost  to  him,  was  af 
terwards  often  taunted  by  the  relatives  and  friends  of  the 
old  man  he  had  slain,  with  the  accusation  of  cowardice,  which 
to  all'  Indians  is  more  to  be  dreaded  than  death. 

For  several  years  he   bore  up   under  their   taunts   until 
he  eventually  began  to  believe  that  all  regarded  him  as  a  cow 
ard,  and  life   to  him   had   became  a   burden  too   great   to   be 
longer  borne.     But  what   could  he  do?     To  take   his  own  life 
would   not  do,   since  that  act  would   stamp  the  seal  of   woe 
upon  his  eternal  destiny.     How  then   was  he  to   secure   for 
himself  an  honorable  death  and  wipe  off  the  stain  of  coward 
ice  that  had    been   attached   to  his   name,  and  depart  to   the 
eternal  and   happy  home  that   awaited   all   brave  warriors? 
His  cogitative  mind  at  last  suggested  a  plan;  it  was,  only  by 
killinganother  man.     This  he  adopted  and  put  into  immediate 
execution;  and  to  make  his  death  the  more  certain,  he  sought, 
found,  and  slew  a  son  of  the  very  man   for  whose   death  his 
doting   mother   had    so   heroically    atoned;  and    though   his 
victim  lived  many  miles  distant,  he  well  knew  the  deed  would 
speedily  bring  the  avenger    to  his    side.     But  that  he   might 
effectually  wripe  forever  from  his  name  the  stain  of   coward 
ice,  to  his  own  honor  and  that  of   his  kindred,  he  at  once  re 
solved  to  take  his  own  life,    since  now  it   would  be  blood    for 
blood,    and    self  sacrifice   would  no  longer  fix   upon  him   the 
penalty  of    eternal  woe.     Quietly   but   resolutely  he  dug   his 
own  grave  before  putting  his  dreadful  resolution   into  effect; 
and  when  completed,  calmlyxstretched  himself  therein  to  as 
certain  if  it  was  complete  in  every  particular.     As  soon  as  he 
had  slain  his  victim  he  hastened  home  with  his  utmost  speed, 
and  at  once  told  his  relatives  and  friends  what   he  had  done, 
and  then  said:     "You  know   that  I  have  long  been  accused  of 
cowardice,     but   now   I   will    prove   to  you   that  I    can   also 
meet  death  like. a  brave  warrior."     Well" they   knew  his  fear 
ful  determination   and    the    impossibility   of  dissuading   him 
therefrom,  as   they  sat   in  gloomy   silence   awaiting   the   ap 
proaching  fearful  scene  that  was" soon   to  be  enacted.     Slow-  4 
ly  he  went  through  with  his   preliminary    death  ceremonies 
with  that  stoicism  so  peculiar  to  his  race;  the  careful  exami 
nation  of  his  rifle,   to  see    if  it   would   still   be  as  true  to   its 
trust  as  it  so  long  had  proved  in   his  many  conflicts   with  the 
wild  beasts  of  his   native   forests;  the   singing   of   his    death 
song,  (the  Indians  adieu   to  earth)  and  the   farewell   shaking 
of  the  hands  of  his  relatives  and  friends  present,  consisting  of 
his  wife,  two   sisters  and    brother,    who   sat   in   a    mournful 
group  a  little  to  one  side,  with    eyes  vacant  and   fixed  as    if 
upon  some  distant  object,  but  presenting  a  picture   of   silent 


woe  that  baffles  description;  while  the  old  men  of  the  neigh 
borhood  sat  in  little  groups  around,  smoking-  their  pipes  in 
doleful  silence.  No  wailing-,  not  even  a  half  smothered  sigh, 
broke  the  silence  of  the  solemn  scene.  Nothing-  was  heard 
but  the  voice  of  Hoh  tah  Lahba,  as  he  now  and  then  chanted 
his  death-song-.  When  he  had  bidden  all  his  last  adieu,  he 
seized  his  bottle  of  whiskey,  that  "bright  insignia"  of  the 
white  man's  "Personal -Liberty,"  drank  a  long-  draught  then 
hurled  the  bottle  with  its  contents  to  the  ground  with  all  his 
strength,  as  if  invoking  a  curse  upon  its  maker  and  vendor, 
then  snatched  his  rifle  from  its  leaning  position  against  a 
tree,  rushed  to  his  waiting  .grave,  and  the  sharp  crack  of  the 
rifle  that  immediately  followed  told  but  too  plainly  that  Hoh- 
tah  Lahba  was  dead.  Then  burst  forth  a  long  restrained 
wrail  of  grief  from  his  bereaved  wife,  sisters,  and  other  fe 
male  friends  alone,  (as  an  Indian  man  never  expresses  his 
grief  by  any  external  emotions)  heretofore  smothered  in  re 
spect  to  Hoh  tah  Lahba's  request,  "that  all  emotions  of 
grief  be  restrained  in  his  presence,"  that  echoed  far  back 
from  the  surrounding  forests. 

What  Christian  heart  could  witness  such  a  scene  without 
emotions  of  sorrow,  since  it  exhibits  the  human  mind 
shrouded  in  the  greatest  error,  wrhile  at  the  same  time  it 
exhibits  the  elements  of  a  noble  nature.  Contemplate  the 
love  of  that  unlettered  mother!  Listen  again  to  her  arguments 
before  that  stern  court  of  inflexible  justice,  pleading  her  own' 
destitution  of  all  further  usefulness  to  her  people,  as  a  just 
reason  for  the  preservation  of  her  son's  manhood  and  useful 
ness!  View  the  son  too,  though  sacrificing  the  life  of  his 
loving  mother  by  his  wayward  life,  yet  manifesting  as  great 
a  sense  of  shame  and  fear  of  public  censure,  as  his  civilized 
white  brother,  (yet  far  more  honorable)  who  sacrificed  two 
lives  also  under  his  so-called  exalted  views  of  honor  in  fighting 
a  duel !  Now  turn  aside  from  a  long,  lingering  gaze  upon  the 
desolate  hearts  of  that  wife,  now  widowed,  and  those  weeping 
sisters  ;  hear  again  that  fearful,  undissembled  shriek  as  the 
crack  of  the  rifle  announced  that  its  messenger  of  death  had 
accomplished  its  work;  listen  to  those  lamentations  loud,*as 
they  rush  to  the  fatal  spot  and  throw  themselves  upon  the 
quivering  body,  and  then  will  you,  can  you,  longer  deny  to 
the  Indian  mother,  wife,  sister,  daughter,"  any  of  those  divine 
and  holy  sensibilities  so  justly  awarded  to  the  white  females? 

Truly  may  it  be  said  of  the  North  American  Indian 
woman  as  a  general  thing,  that  they  rank  higher  in  those 
feminine  virtues  that  so  peculiarly  belong  to  women  than  any 
unlettered  race  known  in'nistory  or  otherwise.  And  for  that 
highest  of  all  female  virtues,  chastity,  -the  full-blood  North 

268  HISTORY    OF    THE   INDIANS.  ;* 

American  Indian  woman  can  fearlessly  challenge  her  white 
sisters  of  the  entire  United  States,  without  the  fear  of  the 
possibility  of  defeat.  During-  my  sojourn  among-  the  Choctaw 
and  Chickasaw  people  in  the  years  1884  to  1890,  I  made  fre 
quent  inquiries  relative  to  this  subject,  both  of  native  citizens 
and  white  citizens  married  among  them,  and  whites  living 
among  them  as  renters  of  their  farms,  and  they  have  spoken 
in  the  highest  terms  of  praise  of  the  chastity  of  the  Choctaw 
and  Chickasaw  women,  and  to  which  I  add  my  own,  based 
upon  a  knowledge  of  over  seventy  years  personal  acquaint 
ance  with  these  two  branches*  of  the  Indian  race,  and  also 
that  of  the  missionaries  who  labored  among  them  when 
living  east  of  the  Mississippi  River.  In  conversation  with  a 
.  Chickasaw  (half  blood)  in  February,  1886,  an  ex-auditor  of 
the  Chickasaw  Nation  and  a  man  of  undoubted  veracity,  who 
lived  near  the  line  of  division  between  his  own  people  and  the 
war-like  Commanches,  and  with  whom  he  had  formed  an 
extensive  acquaintance  by  trading  among  them,  he  thus 
replied  to  my  inquiries  concerning  the  chustitv  of  the  Com- 
manche  women:  "It  is  an  absolute  impossibility  to  rob  a 
Commanche  woman  of  her  virtue,  only  by  superior  physical 
force.  No  professions  of  love,  no  promises  of  marriage,  no 
temptation  of  bribery,  can  avail  anything  in  inducing  her  to 
step  from  the  path  of  rectitude,  virtue  and  honor."  I  was 
informed  by  a  gentleman  who  lived  in  the  southern  part  of 
Arizona,  that  he  was  well  acquainted  with  a  tribe  of  Indians 
whose  women  it  was  impossible  to  influence  from  the  path  of 
virtue.  Many  of  the  early1  writers  speak  in  the  highest  com 
mendation  of  the  native  Indian  women.  All  praise  to  the 
North  American  Indian  women!  uneducated,  uncivilized, 
with  no  advantages  of  moral  culture,  yet  true  to  the  natural 
instincts  of  morality,  "adorning"  no  cities,  towns  and  villages 
with  houses  erected  for  the  prostitution  of  their  bodies  and 
the  eternal  damnation  of  their  souls. 

The  Choctaw  women  were  of  medium  height,  beautiful 
in  form,  strong  and  a^ile  in  body;  strictly  honest,  truthful, 
light-hearted  and  gay,  and  devoted  in  their  affection  to  fam 
ily  and  friends,  while  common  custom  protected  them  against 
all  offense,  even  as  it  does  at  the  present  day; — how  com 
mendable  to  the  Choctaw  men. 

There  always  have  existed  among  the  North  American 
Indians,  and  still  exist,  many  examples  of  intellectual  ability, 
of  genius,  of  high  moral  feeling  and  as  noble  and  pure  patri 
otism  as  was  ever  found  in  any  nation  of  people  and  as  proof 
of  this  fact  I  relate  the  following:  Some  twenty-five  years  ago 
a  photographer  of  Chicago,  being  in  Arizona  on  a  vacation 
trip,  found  and  rescued  from  an  Apache  camp  an  abandoned 


Indian  male  infant  of  full  blood.  The  photographer  became 
possessed  with  a  desire  to  take  the  boy  home  with  him  and 
adopt  him.  In  spite  of  warnings  that  the  child  would  prove 
a  viper  in  his  bosom,  he  carried  out  his  intentions,  and  rear 
ed  the  boy,  to  whom  the  name  of  Charles  Moiitezuma  was 
given,  as  a  member  of  his  family.  The  young  Apache  grew 
up  to  bein.face  and  physique  the  very  type  of  his  tribe;  but 
he  was  at  the  same  time  an  excellent  scholar  and  a  perfect 
gentleman.  He  graduated  at  the  Chicago  High  School  with 
credit,  and  was  very  popular  in  his  class,  being  gentle,  polite, 
industrious.  A  recent  inquiry  as  to  Montezuma's  career 
since  the  completion  of  his  high  school  education  developed 
the  facts  that  he  has  selected  surgery  for  a  profession,  and 
will  graduate  from  the  Chicago  Medical  College  far  above 
the  average  of  his  class;  that  he  is  liked  by  his  classmates 
and  has  never  manifested  any  desire  to  resume  the  barbar 
ous  habits  of  his  relatives,  or  shown  any  savage  traits  what 
ever;  that  he  supports  himself,  during  his  studies  at  the 
medical  college,  by  filling  prescriptions  at  a  Chicago  drug 
store  where  he  is  looked  upon  as  an  expert  pharmacist,  and 
that  every  circumstance  indicates  that  he  will  make  a  suc 
cessful  professional  man. 

But  long  since  has  it  been  proven  and  established  beyond 
contradiction  that  they  possessed  capacities  as  susceptible 
of  the  highest  refinement  as  that  of  the  White  Race,  which, 
wrrapt  in  the  garb  of  self-importance  impervious  to  truth 
and  reason,  regarded  the  Indians  as  inferior  beings,  unworthy 
its  consideration,  except  as  objects  to  be  plundered  and 
destroyed;  and  in  justification  of  which,  called  them  savages, 
but  with  as  little  justice  and  reason  as  the  Indians  had  to 
call  them  Christians.  What  unlettered  nations,  utterly 
without  books,  colleges  and  schools,  have  ever  produced  such 
men,  worthily  renowned  as  orator^and  statesmen  in  council, 
and  brave  in  the  field  of  battle  as  palriots,  as  the  true  Native 
Americans  of  the  North  Western  Continent,  in  their  Mas- 
sasoits,  Phillips,  Pontiacs,  Red  Jackets,  Black  Hawks,  Te- 
cumsehs,  Humming  Birds,  Red  Shoes,  Apushamatahahs, 
*  Weatherfords,  Osceolas,  Ridges,  Rosses,  Colberts,  and 
hundreds  of  others  of  equal  renown?  They  are  not  to  be  found 
in  tradition  on  in  ancient  or  modern  history. 

Who  that  has  read  Cooper's  "Last  of  the  Mohicans," 
but  remembers  Uncas,  the  yonng  Mohawk  warrior,  and 
jointly  with  that  of  his  white  friend  Leather  Stocking,  the 
hero  of  the  story?  It  is  said  his  Indian  name  wTas  Tschoop; 
but  if  it  is  corrupted  as  badly  as  all  other  Indians'  names 
when  put  in  print  by  the  whites,  it  is  as  foreign  from  his 
true  name  as  that  by  which  he  figured  in  the  uLast  of  the 

270  HISTORY    OF    THE    INDIANS. 

Mohicans."  However,  he  has  been  handed  down  as  a  noted 
warrior  among  his  people — the  once  powerful  and  warlike 
Mohawks  who  inhabited  the  now  State  of  New  York  in  the 
years  of  long-  past — famous  for  his  daring-  exploits  in  war, 
and  his  fiery  eloquence  in  the  councils  of  his  Nation.  In 
1741,  he  was  often  visited  at  his  home  by  a  Moravian  mis 
sionary,  named  Christian  Rauch,  who  often  spoke  to  him 
upon  the  subject  of  relig-ion  during  their  frequent  socal  con 
versations;  and  finally  asked  him  if  he  had  any  desire  to  save 
his  soul.  "We  all  desire  that,"  responded  Uncas.  The 
good  missionary,  in  his  zeal,  became  persistent  in  urgiug 
upon  him  the  importance  and  great  necessity  of  his  becom 
ing  a  Christian,  praying  and  pleading  with  him — often  with 
tears;  and  after  many  months  of  prayer  and  entreaty,  the 
pious  Rauch  was  delighted  to  see  his  forest  pupil  a  changed 
man — a  truly  pious  Christian,  whom  he  baptised  under  the 
name  of  John.  In  a  letter  Uncas  afterwards  sent  to  the 
Delaware  Indians,  he  said:  UI  have  been  a  bad,  very  bad, 
man.  But  a  white  preacher  told  me  there  is  a  God..  I  said: 
Do  I  riot  know  that?  Return  whence  you  came. 

Then  another  came  and  told  me  that  God  was  offended 
at  me  when  I  did  any  bad  acts.  Again  I  said:  Do  I  not  know 
that  too?  Do  you  think  that  I  am  a  fc/ol?  Then  Christian 
Rauch  came  into  my  cabin  and  sat  down  by  me  and  told  me 
of  my  crimes,  of  Jesus  who  died  to  save  me  from  them;  and 
this  he  did  day  after  day,  until  I  became  tired  of  his  talk  and 
treatened  to  kill  him  if  he  came  to  my  cabin  again.  But  one 
day  I  came  home  and  found  him  in  my  cabin  sound  asleep. 
I  stood  and  looked  at  him,  and  said  to  myself — "What  sort 
of  a  man  is  this?  How  easily  I  might  kill  him;  yet  he  is  with 
out  fear,  for  he  says  his  Jesus  will  protect  him  from  all 
harm.  Who  is  that  that  Jesus?  I  too  must  and  will  find 
him."  And,  reader,  he  did  find  him;  and  soon  after  he  be 
came  not  only  an  humble  and  devout  follower  of  the  Lord 
Jesus  Christ,  but  also  became  a  preacher  of  the  Gospel  with 
the  same  fiery  eloquence  which  had  given  him  a  power  among 
his  race,  and  spent  many  years  in  traveling  among  the  neigh 
boring  tribes  of  his  day — who  long  since  have  all  been  num 
bered  with  the  events  that  were  fading  before  the  tide  of  the 
white  man's  Christian  oppression  like  a  shadow  that  leaves 
no  trace  behind,  except  in  the  persons  of  a  few  who  have 
survived  the  wreck  of  years,  only,  it  seems,  because  they 
have  the  right  to  live. 

Curiosity    was   one    of    the    chief   characteristics   of  the* 
Choctaws,  and  held  a    prominent   position   in  their    breasts. 
They  were  desirous  to  know   everything  peculiar  or  strange 
that  was  transpiring  about  them;  not  more  so,  however,  than 


any  others  of  the  human  race.  Yet  the  Choctaw  differed 
from  his  white  brother  in  this  particular;  the  white  man  ex 
pressed  openly  his  curiosity  at  anything-  unusual  or  strange, 
and  asked  innumerable  questions  concerning-  it,  and 
manifested  the  greatest  excitement  until  his  curiosity 
was  gratified  ;  but  the  Choctaw  asked  no  questions, 
nor  manifested  any  "surprise  whatever,  no  matter  how 
strange  or  incomprehensible  to  him,  but  walked  around  with 
an  air  of  seemingly  perfect  indifference;  yet  was  attentive  to 
any  and  all  explanations  that  were  being-  made  by  others. 
The  ing-enuity  of  the  white  man  as  displayed  in  his  vari 
ous  inventions  was,  to  him,  as  to  all  his  race,  the  deepest 
mystery,  an  incomprehensible  enigma  that  placed  the  pale 
face,  in  his  opinion,  in  close  relationship  to  super-human 
beings;  and  influenced  an  ag-ed  Indian  chief  to  exclaim,  when 
viewing*  the  mysterious  working's  of  a  steam  engine  when 
once  at  Washington  City,  "I  hate  the  avarice  of  the  white 
man's  heart,  but  worship  the  ing-enuity  of  his  mind."  The 
astonishment  sometimes  depicted  upon,  the  countenances  of 
the  Indians  when  beholding-  the  wonderful  performances  of 
the  white  man,  audibly  expressed  by  the  ancient  Choctaws 
'  in  the  sudden  ejaculation,  uWah  ?  "  was  often  very  divert 

On  one  occasion  a  venerable  old  Indian  man,  who,  in 
order  to  light  his  pipe,  was  trying  to  catch  a  spark  upon  a 
piece  of  punk  struck  from  his  flint  and  steel;  after  many 
fruitless  attempts,  a  white  man  standing  near  had  observed 
the  old  man's  unsuccessful  efforts  to  obtain  the  desired 
spark,  and  anticipating  a  little  laugh  might  be  had  at  the  ex 
pense  of  the  old  veteran,  stepped  up  and  proposed  to  bring 
clown  fire  from  the  sun  with  which  to  light  his  pipe.  At 
this  astounding-  proposal,  the  old  man  looked  up  and  shook 
his  head  with  an  incredulous  grunt,  which  being  interpreted 
evidently  signified:  "You  are  a  fool."  The  white  man  then 
slowly  taking  a  sun-glass  from  his  pocket,  held  it  concealed 
in  his  hand  directly  over  the  well  filled  pipe  of  tobacco.  The 
fecal  rays  of  the  sun  soon  did  their  work.  "Now  smoke," 
said  the  white  man.  The  old  man'obeyed,  and  at  once  his 
mouth  was  'filled  writh  smoke.  That  was  enough.  He  at 
once  puffed  the  smoke  from  his  mouth;  then  stopped  and 
looked  at  the  \vhite  man,  then  up  at  the  sun;  then  down  at 
his  well  lighted  pipe;  then  again  at  the  white  -  man  and  the 
sun,  with'  that  expression  of  amazement  and  awe  which 
plainly  expressed  his  now  changed  opinion,  that,  instead  of 
a  fool,  that  white  man  was  nothing  more  nor  less  a  person 
age  than  the  devil  himself;  and,  with  eyes  askant  resting 
upon  him,  he  slowly  arose  and  walked  away  with  his  last 


formed  opinion  which  no  argument  could  have  induced  him 
to  again  change;  yet  not  with  as  devotional  a  spirit, ^it  is  pre 
sumed,  of  he  of  the  steam  engine. 

As  an  evidence  of  the  tenacity   with   which   the   ancient 
Choctaws  adhered  to  the  veracity  of  their  traditions   handed 
down  through  a  long  line  of  ancestry,  I  will  here  relate  a  little 
incident  in  which  my  twin   brother   and   myself  (then   seven 
years  of  age)  were  the  chief  actors,  and  shared   all  the  glory. 
At  that  time,  there  was  a  remembered  tradition  of   their   an 
cestors  which  they  truly  believed,  that  upale-face"   twins   (if 
boys)  possessed  the  magic  power   of   dispelling  all   depreda 
ting  worms  and  insects  from  cornfields,  gardens,  etc.,  which, 
in  some  years,  at  that  early    day,   proved  quite   destructive, 
especially  to  their  corn  during   the   milk   stage.     Now   it   so 
happened  during   one   summer,   that  the   corn-worms   were 
unusually  numerous  and  were  committing  great  depredations 
upon  their  fields  of  green  corn.  This  corn-worm,  with  which 
all  southern  farmers  are  well  acquainted  but  entertained   no 
dread,  is,  when  fully  grown,  about  an  inch  and   a  half  or   two 
inches  long,  and  aboik  the  size  of  a  wheat  straw,  and  commits 
its  depredations  (if  depredations  it  may  now  be   called)    only 
when  the  corn  is  in  the  milk  stage,    entering   the   ear   at  the 
top  and  gradually  working  downward,  but   leaving  it  as   soon 
as  the  grain  becomes  hard.     Now  it  also  happened,  they  had 
learned  that  Mr.  Cushman,  the  "good    pale-face,"  as   he  was 
termed,  had  a  pair  of  twin  boys;  a  propitious  opportunity  (long 
desired)  was  now  offered   to   secure   for   themselves,    by   an 
occular  demonstration,  the  traditional  efficacy  of  the  pale-face 
twins'  super-natural  power,   which   they   joyfully   embraced. 
Unexpectedly,  one  beautiful  June   morning,   a  company 
;  of  fine-looking  Choctaw  warriors  were  seen   approaching  on 
i  horseback  at  full   speed.     They   halted   at  the   gate   of  Mr. 
Cushman's  yard  and  called  for  him.     He  at  once  responded 
by  walking  out  to  them.   After  the  usual  friendly  salutations 
had  been  passed,  they  inquired  if  he  had  a  pair  of  twin  sons, 
to  which  he  replied  in  the  affirmative.     They   then  informed 
him  of  the  depreciations  being  committed  upon  their  fields  of 
green  corn,  and  also  of  the  traditions  of  their   ancestors,    re 
questing  at  the  same    time  the   loan   of   his   twins  that  they 
might,  by  that    mysterious  power   possessed   alone  by  pale 
face  twins,  rid  them  of  the  voracious  pests  that  were  then  de 
stroying  their   fields   of  corn.     Mr.    Cushman,    ignorant   of 
such  a  power  having  been  bestowed  upon   his   twin   boys,  at 
first   demurred;    but   they    becoming   more   importunate   in 
their  request,  he  finally  told  them  he  would  give  them  an  an 
swer  in  a  few  minutes.     He  then  stepped  into  the  house  and 
presented  the  case  to  Mrs.  Cushman  for   consideration,  who 


at  once,  from  a  mother's  natural  apprehensions  that  would 
arise  in  such' a  novel  case,  most  positively  refused  her  con 
sent;  but  after  a  few  minutes'  deliberation  reluctantly  yield 
ed,  to  the  great  joy  and  satisfaction  of  the  twins,  who  had 
been  attentive  spectators  and  listeners  to  the  whole  proceed 
ing's,  and  had  become  eager  to  test  their  attributed  power, 
(unknown  before)  and  to  enjoy  the  anticipated  novel  sport  so 
closely  connected  with  the  horseback  ride  that  was  present 
ed.  Mr.  Cushman  at  once  led  his  little  twins  to  the  gate  and 
introduced  them  to  the  now  jubilant  warriors,  by  telling 
them  the  respective  names  of  the  ''wonderfully  gifted" 
twins;  and  then  granted  their  request  upon  the  promise  that 
they  would  return  his  boys  in^  the  evening  of  the  day,  before 
the  sun  had  set.  The  promise  was  given  and  accepted  by 
Mr.  Cushman  without  the  least  apprehension  of  its  violation, 
while  Mrs.  Cushman  stood  in  the  door  and  viewed  the  pro 
ceedings  with  that  doubtful  anxiety  known  and  felt  only  by 

Mr.  Cushman  then  set  each  of  his  boys  upon  a  horse  be 
fore  a  warrior,  accompanying  the  act  with  the  parting  re 
quest:  "Take  good  care  of  my  little  boys!"  Unnecessary 
.appeal,  as  not  a  Choctaw  in  that  little  band  but  would  have 
shielded  the  entrusted  twins  from  injury  even  at  the  ex 
pense  of  his  life.  At  once  we  galloped  of?  in  the  direction  of 
their  village  three  miles  distant  called  Okachiloho  fah. 
(Water  falling,  or  Falling  water.)  When  we  arrived  in  sight, 
their  success  was  announced  by  a  shrill  whoop  to  which  the 
villagers  responded  their  joy  by  another.  As  soon  as  we  rode 
into  the  village,  we  were  immediately  surrounded  by  an  ad 
miring  throng,  and  being  tenderly  lifted  from  our  positions 
on  the  horses,  we  were  handed  over  to  the  care  of  several  old 
men,  who  took  us  in  their  arms  and  with  much  gravity 
carried  us  into  a  little  cabin,  which  had  previously  been  set 
in  order  for  our  reception,  where  we  found  prepared  a  va 
riety  of  eatables,  to  us  seemingly  good  enough  to  excite  the 
appetites  of  the  most  fastidious  twin  epicures;  after 
which  the  venerable  old  seers  of  the  village  instructed 
us  in  the  mystic  rites  and  ceremonies  of  their  tribe, 
preparatory  to  calling  into  requisition  the  magic  power 
of  our  twinship  in  all  its  bearings*  upon  the  duties 
of  the  day.  Then  showing  us  our  weapons,  which 
consisted  of  iron,  wood  and  fire/the  two  former  in  the  shape 
of  a  frying-pan,  in  which  we  were  to  burn  the  worms  after 
picking  them  from  the  corn,  and  a  blazing  chunk  of  fire,  two 
stout  and  straight  sticks  about  six  feet  in  length,  with  the 
proper  instructions  in  regard  to  the  manner  of  using  them 
effectually.  Having  been  thoroughly  drilied  in  these  pre- 


liminaries,  the  line  of  march  was  taken  up  toward  the  field 
where  the  enemy  were  said  to  be  strongly  intrenched;  in 
profound  silence  and  with  unfeigned  gravity,  the  Palokta 
Tohbi,  (Twins  White,  or  White  Twins)  led  the  van,  borne 
upon  the  shoulders  of  two  powerful  warriors  closely  followed 
by  three  others  bearing  the  arms,  while  the  villagers,  headed 
by  the  veteran  seers,  brought  up  the  rear  presenting  an  im 
posing  appearance  with  a  considerable  smack  of  the  ridicu 
lous,  even  as  Don  Quixote  astride  of  his  famous  Rosinante 
followed  by  his  valuable  squire  in  like  position  on  his  mule. 

When  the  field  was  reached  a  halt  was  made,  and  two 
venerable  looking  old  men,  whose- hoary  locks  and  wrinkled 
faces  bespoke  their  earthly  pilgrimage  had  extended  many 
years  beyond  their  allotted  three  score  years  and  ten,  came 
to  the  front  and,  with  solemn  mien,  lifted  us  from  our  perches 
and  gently  placed  us  over  the  fence  into  the  field;  then  hand 
ing  the  frying  pan,  chunk  of  fire,  and  sticks,  our  weapons,  to 
us,  with  a  word  of  encouragement  whispered  in  our  ears  to 
prove  ourselves  valiant  and  worthy  our  traditional  fame,  they 
bade  us  charge  the  foe.  The  plan  of  the  campaign  was  to 
attack  the  enemy  first  in  the  center;  there  build  a  hot  fire 
with  the  dry  wood,  previously  prepared  by  the  thoughtful 
Choctaws,  upon  \vhich  place  the  frying  pan  and  into  which 
throw  all  prisoners  without  discrimination,  as  our  flag  bore 
the  motto — "Neither  giving  nor  asking  quarter;"  and  like 
wise  also  at  the  the  four  corners  of  the  field.  The  centre 
was  gained,  the  fire  made,  and  upon  it  placed  the  pan;  then 
we  made  a  vigorous  attack  upon  the  strong-holds  of  the 
enemy  dislodging  them  and  at  the  same  time  taking  them 
prisoners  of  war;  then  hurrying  them  to  the  centre  hurled 
them  hors  de  combat  into  the  frying  pan  heated  to  a  red  heat, 
and  with  our  ready  sticks  stirred  them  vigorously,  while  the 
wreathes  of  smoke  that  ascended  from  the'  scene  of  carnage 
and  floated  away  before  the  summer  breeze,  together  with 
the  odor,  not  as  fragaant  to  the  sensitive  nose,  however,  as 
the  lily  or  the  rose,  gave  undisputed  evidence  of  our  victories; 
while  our  waiting  Choctaw  friends,  acknowledged  their 
approval  from  the  outside  of  the  field,  (since  the  tradition,  for 
bade^  them  sharing  in  the  dangers  of  the  conflict — the  Palok- 
tas  must  fight  alone)  filling  our  youthful  hearts  with  heroic 
emotions  unfelt  before  or  afterwards. 

After  we  had  immolated  two  or  three  panfulls  of  the 
enemy  at  the  center  and  at  each  corner  of  the  field,  nor  lost  a 
man,  we  returned  in  triumph  to  our  waiting  friends,  by 
whom  we  were  received  with  unfeigned  manifestations  of 
affection  and  pride.  Thence  we  were  borne  as  before  to 
other  fields,  where  were  enacted  the  same  prodigies  of  valor, 


with  similar  results  until  the  declining  sun  gave  warning-  of 
their  promise  not  being-  fulfilled  if  the  Paloktas  were  not  re 
turned  ere  the  sun  went  down.  Therefore  we  were  carried 
from  our  last  field  of  slaughter  back  to  the  village  in  "glori 
ous  triumph,"  where  never  were  offered  to  frail  mortality 
more  sincere  homage  and  unfeigned  devotion  than  were  be 
stowed  upon  the  Paloktas  by  those  grateful  Choctaws.  They 
seemed  only  to  regret  not  being  able  to  manifest  a  still 
greater  degree  of  gratitude,  and  to  do  more  for  us  as  a  man 
ifestation  of  their  appreciation  of  the  great  favor 
we  had  conferred  upon  them.  With  zealous  care  they 
watched  over  us  while  under  their  care,  that  no 
harm  might  befall  us.  As  we  came  so  we  returned,  and 
safely  reached  home  ere  the  sun  sank  behind  the  western 
horizon.  We  were  afterwards'  frequently  called  upon, 
much  to  our  gratification  and  delight,  it  was  fun  for  us,  to 
bring  into  requisition  our  mysteriously  delegated  power  in 
behalf  of  their  cornfields;  and  we  became  the  special  favor 
ites  of  that  kind-hearted  and  appreciative  people;  and  woe  to 
him  or  them  who  should  impose  upon  or  attempt  to  injure 
their  little  pets,  the  pale-face  Paloktas.  But  the  boyish 
pride  that  filled  my  heart  on  those  occasions,  though  seventy 
years  have  fled,  is  remembered  to  this-day.  haunting  the 
imagination  with  a  mystic  power,  as  thought  goes  back  to 
many  a  vanished  scene  recalling  associates  incident  to  the 
days  of  the  long  past. 

But  curiosity  might  now  be  inquisitive  enough  to  ask: 
"Did  the  \vorms  cease  their  depredations  on  the  green 
corn?"  To  wljich  I  reply:  Many  of  them  certainly  did;  and, 
as  no  further  complaint  was  made  by  the  Choctaws  during 
that  season,  it  is  reasonable  to  suppose  those  that  were  left, 
after  the  immolation  of  so  many  of  their  relatives,  took  a 
timely  hint  and  sought  other  quarters  where  pale-face  Palok 
tas  were  unknown;  but  whether  actuated  through  fear  of  a 
similar  fate  as  had  befallen  a  goodly  number  of  their  com 
panions,  or  because  the  corn  had  become  too  hard  by  age  for 
easy  mastication  and  healthy  digestion,  I  will'leave  for  future 
consideration  and  determination  of  those  who  ,  feel  more 
interested  in  its  solution  than  I  do  just  now.  However,  this" 
much  I  can  and  will  unfold;  as  the  little  pale-face  Paloktas 
honorably  sustained  the  reputation  of  their  mystic  art,  at 
least  in  the  opinion  of  their  Choctaw  friends,  who  were  ren 
dered  supremely  happy  in  the  indulgement  of  their  faith  in 
the  truth  of  the  ancient  declaration  of  their  honored  an 
cestors;  appreciative  and  gratefuljto  the  "Good  Pale-face"  for 
the  loan  of  his  favored  twins;  and  the  twins  enjoyed  the  new 
and  novel  sport,  and  nobody  hurt,  (unless  the  worms,  who 


are  at  liberty  to  render  their  own  complaint,)  we  will  let  it 
pass  without  further  ado  as  being-  only  a  little  superstitious 
yet  novel  affair,  not  less  unreasonable'however,  in  all  its  con 
comitants  than  other  superstitions  so  oft  indulged  by  the 
human  race  of  all  nationalities,  even  of  to-day  as  well  as  in 
the  years  of  yore. 

There  were  many  traditions  among'  all  North  American 
Indians,  many  of  which  bordered  on  the  poetical  and  from 
which  I  will  select  one  or  two  more,  which  shall  suffice  as 
examples  of  a  few  of  the  peculiarities  of  this  peculiar  yet 
interesting-  people. 

Thus  says  the  tradition  of  "Ohoyo  Osh  Chisba,"  (The 
Unknown  Woman.)  In  the  days  of  many  moons  ago,  two 
Choctaw  hunters  were  encamped  for  the  nig-ht  in  the' swamps 
of  the  bend  of  the  Alabama  river.  But  the  scene  was  not 
without  its  romance.  Dark,  wild,  and  unlovely  as  a  swamp 
is  generally  imagined  to  be,  yet  to  the  musing  heart  and 
contemplative  spirit,  it  had  its  aspects  of  beauty,  if  not  of 
brightness,  which  rose  up  before  the  mind  as  objects  of  se 
rene  delight,  i  speak  from  long-  personal  experience.  Its 
mysterious  appearance;  its  little  lakes  and  islands  of  repose: 
its  silent  and  solemn  solitudes;  its  green  cane-breaks  and 
lofty  trees,  all  combined  to  present  a  picture  of  strange  but 
harmonious  combination  to  which  a  lover  of  nature  in  all  its 
diversified  phases  could  not  be  wholly  insensible.  The  two 
hunters  having  been  unsuccessful  in  the  chase  on  that  and 
the  preceding-  day,  found  themselves  without  anything-  on 
that  night  with  which  to  satisfy  the  craving's  of  hunger  ex 
cept  a  black  hawk  which  they  had  shot  with  an  arrow.  Sad 
reflections  filled  their  hearts  as  they  thought  of  their  sad  dis 
appointments  and  of  their  suffering-  families  at  home,  while 
the  gloomy  future  spread  over  them  its  dark  pall  of  despon 
dency,  all  serving  to  render  them  unhappj'  indeed.  They 
cooked  the  hawk  and  sat  down  to  partake  of  their  poor  and 
scanty  supper,  when  their  attention  was  drawn  from  their 
gloomy  forebodings  by  the  low  but  distinct  tones,  strange 
yet  soft  and  plaintive  as  the  melancholy  notes  of  the  dove, 
but  produced  by  what  they  were  wholly  unable  to  even  con 
jecture.  At  different  intervals  it  broke  the  deep  silence  of 
the  early  night  with  its  seemingly  muffled  notes  of  woe;  and 
as  the  nearly  full  orbed  moon  slowly  ascended  the  eastern 
sky  the  strange  sounds  became  more  frequent  and  distinct. 
With  eyes  dilated  and  fluttering  heart  they  looked  up  and 
down  the  river  to  learn  whence  the  sounds  proceeded,  but 
no  object  except  the  sandy  shores  glittering  in  the  moon 
light  greeted  their  eyes,  while  the  dark  waters  of  the  river 
seemed  alone  to  give  response  in  murmuring-  tones  to  the 


strange  notes  that  continued  to  float  upon  the  night  air  from 
a  direction  they  could  not  definitely  locate;  but  happening-  to 
look  behind  them  in  the  direction  opposite  the  moon  they 
saw  a  woman  of  wonderful  beauty  standing  upon  a  mound  a 
few  rods  distant.  Like  an  illuminated  shadow,  she  had  sud 
denly  appeared  out  of  the  moon-lighted  forest.  She  was 
loosely  clad  in  snow-white  raiment,  and  bore  in  the  folds  of 
her  drapery  a  wreath  of  fragrant  flowers.  She  beckoned 
them  to  approach,  while  she  seemed  surrounded  by  a  halo  of 
light  that  gave  t'o  her  a  supernatural  appearance.  Their  im 
agination  now  influenced  them  to  believe  her  to  be  the  Great 
Spirit  of  their  nation,  and  that  the  flowers  she  bore  were  re 
presentatives  of  loved  ones  who  had-  passed  from  earth  ,to 
bloom  in  the  Spirit-Land;  truly,  a  beautiful  sentiment  that 
touches  every  heart,  for  who  has  not  some  treasure  in  that 
immortal  home?  Reason  as  we  may,  there  is  something,  in 
describable  though  it  may  be,  that  draws  us  to  the  unseen 
•world;  and  we  pine  for  a  word  or  token  from  the  dear  ones 
who  have  thither  gone.  Call  it  heathenish  if  you  will,  a  relic 
of  superstition,  of  the  days  when  every  rock,  tree  and  plant 
were  deemed  the  abode  of  a  deity,  but  we  never  gather  a 
flower  that  we  do  not  feel  for  the  life  thus  ended.  It  may  be 
an  error  clothed  with  beauty  and  tenderness,  and  far  more 
harmless  than  the  theory  that  thrusts  us  helpless  into  life 
and  leaves  us  to  grope  our  way  through  it  uncared  for, -.then 
to  die  unnoticed  and  forgotten. 

The  mystery  was  solved.  At  once  they  approached  to 
where  she  stood,  and  offered  their  assistance  in  any  way  they 
could  be  of  service  to  her.  She  replied  she  was  ver^y  hungry, 
whereupon  one  of  them  ran  and  brought  the  roasted  hawk 
and  handed  it  to  her.  She  accepted  it  with  grateful  thanks; 
but,  after  eating  a  small  portion  of  it,  she  handed  the  remain 
der  back  to  them  replying  that  she  would  remember  their 
kindness  when  she  returned  to  her  home  in  the  happy  hunt 
ing  grounds  of  her  father,  who  was  Shilup  Chitoh  Osh — The 
Great  Spirit  of  the  Choctaws.  She  then  told  them  that  when 
the  next  mid-summer  moon  should  come  they  must  meet  her 
at  the  mound  upon  which  she  was  then  standing.  She -then 
bade  them  an  affectionate  adieu,  and  was  at  once  borne  away 
upon  a  gentle  breeze  and,  mysteriously  as  she  came  so  she 
disappeared.  The  two  hunters  returned  to  their  camp  for  the 
night  and  early  next  morning  sought  they-  homes,  but  kept 
the  strange  incident  a  profound  secret  to  themselves.  When 
the  designated  time  rolled  around  the  mid-summer  full  moon 
found  the  two  hunters  at  the  foot  of  the  mound  but  Ohoyo 
•Chishba  Osh  was  nowhere  to  be  seen.  Then  remembering 
she  told  them  they  must  come  to  the  very  spot  where  she 


was  then  standing,  they  at  once  ascended  the  mound  and 
found  it  covered  with  a  strange  plant,  which  yielded  an  ex 
cellent  food,  which  was  ever  afterwards  cultivated  by  the 
Choctaws,  and  named  by  them  Tunchi;  (Corn). 

Somewhat  similar  to  the  tradition  of  the  Ohoy,o  Chishba 
Osh  is  that  of  the  Hattak  Owa  Hushi  Osh,  (The  Man  Hunt 
ing  For  The  Sun.) 

The  Choctaws  once,  a  great  amount  of  corn  having  been 
made  and  as  a  manifestation  of  their  appreciation  and,gratifi- 
cation  and  gratitude  to  the  Great  Spirit,  their  benefactor, 
held  a  Great  National  Council  at  which  their  leading  prophet 
spoke  at  great  length  upon  the  beauties  of  x Nature  which 
contributed  so  much  to  their  pleasure,  and  the  various  pro 
ductions  of  the  earth  and  the  enjoyment  derived  therefrom, 
attributing  much  of  all  to  the  effects  of  the  sun.  That  great 
lighter  and  heater  of  the  earth  came  from  the  east,  but 
whence  it  went  after  it  had  passed  behind  the  western  hills, 
had  long  been  a  subject  of  debate,  never  satisfactorily  de 
termined.  Again  the  mooted  question  was  brought  up  by 
the  prophet  in  his  speech  at  the  aforesaid  council,  who,  in 
a  strain  of  wild  eloquence,  cried  out,  ''Is  there  not  a  warrior 
among  all  my  people  who  will  go  and  find  out  what  becomes 
of  the  sun  when  it  departs  in  the  west?  "  At  once  a  young 
warrior,  named  Oklanowah,  (Walking  People)  arose  in  the 
assembly  and  said:  k'I  will  go  and  try  to  find  where  the  sun 
sleeps,  though  I  may  never  return."  He  soon  took  his  de 
parture  on  his  dubious  errand  leaving  behind  him  one  sad 
heart  at  least,  to  whom  he  gave  a  belt  of  wampum  as  a  token 
of  remembrance. 

But  after  an  absence  of  many  years  he  returned  to  the 
home  of  his  nativity,  only  to  find  himself  an  entire  stranger 
among  his  people.  After  many  days  search,  however,  he 
found  one  in  the  person  of  an  aged  and  decrepit  woman,  who 
remembered  the  circumstances  connected  with  the  young 
hunter  who  had  gone  many  years  before  on  his  adventurous 
exploit  to  find  the  sleeping  place  of  the  sun;  and  though  he 
was  satisfied  that  she  was  his  identical  betrothed — the  loved 
one  of  his  youth — oft  spoke  with  the  deepest  affection- of  her 
long  lost  Oklanowah,  yet  no  arguments  could  induce  her  to 
acknowledge  the  old  man  before  her  as  her  lover  of  the  past. 
The  unfortunate  and  forlorn  Hattak  Owa  Hushi  Osh  spent 
his  few  remaining  days  in  narrating  his  adventures  to  his  peo 
ple,  the  vast  prairies  and  high  mountains  he  had  crossed;  the 
strange  men  and  animals  he  had  seen;  and,  'above  all,  that 
the  sleeping  place  of  the  sun  was  in  a  big,  blue  water.  Still 
after  hearing  all  this,  the  old  woman,  more  incredulous  than 
"doubting  Thomas"  of  Biblical  fame,  refused  to  believe,  but 


secluded  herself  in  her  lonely  cabin,  and  alone  occupied  the 
sad  hours  of  the  days  and  years  that  came  and  went  in 
counting  the  wampum  in  her  belt,  the  sacred  memento  of  her 
Oklanowah — loved,  but  lost;  lost,  yet  loved.  -Spring-  return 
ed,  but  ere  the  leaves  were  grown  Hattak  Owa  Hushi  Osh 
died,  and  was  buried  near  the  ancient  mound  Nunih  Waiyah, 
and  ere  the  moon  of  the  corn  planting  had  come,  the  old 
woman  also  died,  and  she.  to  was  buried  at  the  sacred  Nunih 
Waiyah  by  the  side  of  her  unrecognized  yet  faithful  Okla 

Another  specimen  of  their  love  legends  is  exhibited  in 
that  of  Chahtah  Osh  Hochifoh  Keyu— the  Nameless  Chah 
tah.  In  the  days  of  the  long  past  there  lived  in  the  Choctaw 
village  Aiasha,  (Habitation),  the  only  son  of  a  great  war- 
chief.  This  son  was  noted  for  his  wonderful  beauty  of  form 
and  features  and  manly  bearing.  The  aged  men  of  the 
Nation  predicted,  on  account  of  his  known  and  acknowledged 
bravery,  he  would  become  a  renowned  warrior.  But  as  he 
had  not  distinguished  himself  in.  war  either  by  slaying  an 
enemy,  taking  a  prisoner,  or  striking  the  dead  (a  feat  ac 
companied  with  the  greatest  danger,  as  every  effort  is  made 
by  the  friends  of  the  fallen  warrior  to  prevent  such  an  insult 
to  the  dead),  he  was  not  permitted  to  occupy  a  seat  in  the 
councils  of,  the  tribe,  though  respected  and  honored,  and  his 
bravery  undoubted  by  all. 

According  to  the  custom  of  the  ancient  Choctaws,  a  boy 
was  not  given  a  specific  name  in  childhood  unless  he  merited 
it  by  some  daring  act,  and  the.  young  warrior,  by  some  un 
avoidable  chain  of  circumstances,  passed  through  his  chrys 
alis  stage  of  life  without  having  won  a  reputation  according 
to  his  youthful  abilitv;  therefore  went  by  the  general  name 
Chahtah  Osh  Hochifoh  Keyu.  The  Nameless  Chahtah.  In 
the  same  village  of  Aiashah,  there  also  lived,  according  to  the 
legend,  the  most  famous  beauty  of  the  tribe,  the  daughter  of 
a  noted  warrior  and  skillful  hunter,  and  the  betrothed  of 
Chahtah  Osh  Hochifo  Iksho.  Though  they  often  met  at  the 
great  dances  and  festivals  of  the  tribe,  yet  she  (whose  name 
the  legend  does  not  state)  treated  him  with  distant  reserve 
(then  the  universal  custom  of  the  Choctaw  girls)  though  the 
ardent  lover  of  the  nameless  hero.  Still  one  cloud  cast  its 
gloomy  shadow  over  their  happiness;  it  was  the  knowledge 
of  the  stubborn  truth,  that  the  laws  of  their  Nation,  as  those 
of  the  Medes  and  Persians,  were  unalterable;  and  that  they 
could  never  become  husband  and  wife  until  he  had  acquired 
a  name  by  some  daring  deed  in  battle  with  the  enemies  of 
his  country.  But  time  slowly  rolled  away  and  summer  again 
came  with  a  balmy  day  followed  by  its  evening  twilight^ 


which  witnessed  the  lovers  seated  together  upon  the  summit 
of  a  hill  shaded  by  the  foliage  of  innumerable  and  immense 
forest  trees.  Far  below  from  a  distant  plain  ascended  the 
light  and  smoke  from  the  fire  of  a  war-dance,  around  which 
danced  in  wild  excitement  four  hundred  Choctaw  warriors, 
preparatory  to  a  war-expedition  against  the  Osages,  far  dis 
tant  to  the  west,  and  that  night ,  was  the  last  night  of  their 
Sreparatory  ceremonies.  Previous  to  that  night  Chahtah 
sh  Hochifoh  Keyu  had  acted  as  one  of  the  most  conspicu 
ous  in  the  dances  engaged  in  the  four  previous  nights  before, 
but  on  the  last  night,  had  retired  from  the  dance  to  enjoy  a 
parting  interview  with  his  betrothed.  .  There  they  parted, 
and  ere  the  morning's  sun  again  lighted  up  the  eastern  hori 
zon,  the  "sound  of  revelry  by  night"  had  ceased,  while 
silence  again  resumed  her  sway  o'er  Nature's  vast  expanse, 
and  bespoke  the  four  hundred  warriors  with  Chahtah  Osh 
Hochifoh  Keyu  were  many  miles  upon  the  war-path  that  led 
to  the  country  of  the  Osages  among  the  headwaters  of  the 
Arkansas  river. 

The  hostile  land  was  reached,  and  soon  they  discovered 
a  large  cave  into  which  they  entered,  that  concealed  they 
might  the  better  arrange  their  plans  for  future  operations, 
being  then  in  the  enemies'  country.  Two  scouts,  however, 
were  sent  out  to  reconnoitre,  one  to  examine  the  surround 
ings  east,  the  other  west.  The  latter  was  Chahtah  Osh 
Hochifoh  Keyu.  But  alas  for  human  hopes!  The  evening 
passed  away  and  night  came  on  bringing  one  Osage  hunter 
who  had  oft  before  sought  the  cave  and  found  a  safe  resting 
place  for  the  night.  But  as  he  drew  near  the  cave,  his  ob 
servant  eyes,  ever  on  the  alert,  discovered  signs  which  told 
him  of  the  presence  of  others;  further  examination  revealed 
that  they  were  his  nation's  most  bitter  and  unrelenting  ene 
mies,  the  hated  Choctaws.  Silently  he  stole  away  undis 
covered  by  the  Choctaws,  until  safely  distant,  then  sped 
away  through  the  darkness  on  nimble  feet  to  his  village  and 
told  of  his  discovery;  at  once  a  large  band  of  Osag'e  warriors 
rushed  for  the  cave,  and  as  they  drewnear  gathered  up  small 
logs,  chunks,  limbs  and  brush  with  which  they  silently  and 
effectually  closed  the  mouth  of  the  cave,  and  to  which  they 
applied  the  torch,  and  the  sleeping  Choctaws  awoke  but  to 
read  their  inevitable  doom — all  perished.  The  Choctaw 
scout  who  had  gone  east  returned  during  the  night,  but  ere 
he  reached  the  cave  the  flames  revealed  to  him  the  tale  of 
woe;  he  approached  near  enough,  however,  to  comprehend  the 
whole;  stooda  moment  and  gazed  in  mazv  bewilderment,  then 
turned  and  fled  for  home  where  he  safely  arrived  and  re 
vealed  the  sad  intelligence  of  the  wretched  fate  of  his  com- 


rades  to  their  relatives  and  friends.  It  was  also  believed  by 
all  that  Chahta  Osh  Hochifoh  Keyu  had  been  discovered  and 
had  also  been  slain.  The  sad  tidings  fell  heavily  upon  all 
and  the  wail  of  woe  was  heard  in  many  a  village  and  cabin; 
but  upon  one  it  fell  with  terrible  weight;  and  the  promised 
wife  of  "The  Nameless  Choctaw"  at  once  began  to  droop 
and  soon  withered  away  as  a  rose  severed  from  the  parent 
stem;  and  ere  another  moon  had  passed  away  she  was  laid 
away  in  a  grave  upon  the  very  spot  (by  her  request)  where 
she  had  last  shared  the  parting  embrace  with  her  adored 
Chahtah  Osh  Hochifoh  Keyu,  upon  whose  tomb-stone,  had 
one  been  erected  to  her  memory,  could  justly  have  borne  the 
epitaph — "A  broken  heart." 

But  the  supposition  that  he  too  had  been  slain  proved 
untrue.  Though  he  had  been  discovered  by  the  Osages  and 
vigorously  pursued  for  several  days  arid  nights,  he  finally 
was  fortunate  enough  to  escape.  During  the  chase  his  flight 
had-  been  devious,  and  when  he  had  gotten  beyond  the  danger 
of  further  pursuit  by  his  fearful  foes,  he  found  himself  to  be 
a  bewildered  man,  wretched  and  forlorn.  Everything  ap 
peared  wrong,  and  even  the  sun  appeared  to  him  to  rise  in 
the  wrong  direction,  all  nature  was  out  of  order.  After 
several  days  of  dubious  wanderings,  hither  and  thither,  he 
knew  not  where,  he  came  to  the  foot  of  a  mountain,  whose 
sides  were  covered  with  a  kind  of  grass  entirely  different 
from  anything  he  had  ever  seen  before.  Then,  in  the  course 
of  his  wanderings,  he  'strayed,  at  the  close  of  another  day, 
into  a  lovely  wooded  valley,  where  he  camped  for  the  night, 
kindled  a  fire  and  cooked  a  rabbit  he  had  killed,  of  which  he 
made  his  supper,  and  then  sought  temporary  forgetfulness 
of  his  woes  in  sleep,  Morning  again  dawned,  but  to  awake 
•him  to  a  stronger  sensibility  of  his  loneliness  and  wander 
ings  he/knewr  not  where.  Many  moons  came  and  passed 
away  and  left  him  a  lost  wanderer.  Summer  came,  and  he 
called  upon  the  Great  Spirit  to  make  his  paths  straight,  that 
they  might  lead  him  out  of  bewilderment.  He  then  hunted 
for  a  spotted  deer,  found  and  killed  one,  and  offered  it  a  sac 
rifice  to  the  Great  Spirit,  after  reserving  a  small  portion  to 
satisfy  his  own  immediate  wants.  Night  again  came  on.  and 
as  he  sat  by  his  little  campfire  in  lonely  solitude,  he  heard 
the  near  approach  of  footsteps  in  an  adjoining  thicket,  but 
before  he  could  take  a  second  thought,  a  snow-white  wolf  of 
immense  size  was  crouching  at  his  feet,  and  licking  his 
moccasins  with  the  utmost  manifestations  of  affection.  Then 
looking  him  in  the  face  said:  "Whence  came  you,  and  why 
are  you  alone  in  this  wilderness?"  To  which  Chohtah  Osh 
Hochifoh  Keyu  gave  a  full  account  of  his  misfortunes.  The 


wolf  then  promised  to  lead  him  safely  out  of  the  wilderness 
in  which  he  had  been,  so  long-  wandering-  and  return  him 
to  his  country,  and  they  started  early  on  the  following 

Long-  was  the  journey,  and  dangerous  the  route;  but  by 
the  time  that  the  corn-hoeing  moon  came  the  forlorn  wan 
derer  entered  once  more  his  native  village,  the  anniversary 
of  the  day  he. had  bidden  his  betrothed  adieu;  but  alas,  only 
to  find  his  village  in  mourning  for  her  premature  death.  Alas 
too,  so  changed  was  he  that  none  recognized  in  the  wayworn 
stranger  the  lost  Chatah  Osh  Hochifoh  Keyu;  nor  did  he 
make  himself  known.  Often,  however,  did  he  solicit  them  to 
rehearse  to  him  the  account  of  her  death;  and  oft  he  chanted 
his  wild  songs,  to  the  astonishment  of  all,  to  the  memory  of 
his  loved  one,  dead  yet  loved,  loved  yet  dead.  During  his 
frequent  nightly  visits  to  her  lonely  grave  upon  the  hill  which 
had  witnessed  their  last  parting,  he  once  came  on  a  calm, 
cloudless  night — 'twas  his  last — and  stood  by  the  grave  that  held 
his  dead  at  a  moment  when  the  Great  Spirit  cast  a  shadow 
upfln  the  moon,  then  fell  upon  it  and  died.  They  found  him 
there,  and  then  was  he  recognized  as  the  long  lost  Chatah 
Osh  Hochifoh  Keyu,  and  there  buried  by  the  side  of  his 
earthly  idol.  For  three  consecutive  nights  the  silence  of  the 
forests  contiguous  to  the  lovers'  graves  was  broken  by  the 
continual  wailing  howl  of  a  solitary  wolf,  then  it  ceased  and 
was  heard  no  more;  but  the  same  wail  was  taken  up  by  the 
'pine  forest  upon  the  hill  where  the  lovers  parted  in  hope,  but 
there  to  be  buried  in  despair,  and  that  mournful,  wailing 
sound  they  have  continued  from  that  day  dawn  to  the  present 

The  traditions  of  the  Choctaws  concerning  the  Oka  Fal- 
ama  (Returned  waters — the  Flood)  is  as  follows  :  In  ancient 
time,  after  many  generations  of  mankind  hadlivecl  and  passed 
from  the  stage  of  being,'  the  race  became  so  corrupt  and 
wicked — brother  fighting  against  brother  and  wars  deluging 
the  earth  with  human  blood  and  carnage — the  Great  Spirit 
became  greatly  displeased  and  finally  determined  to  destroy 
the  human  race  ;  therefore  sent  a  great  prophet  to  them 
who  proclaimed  from  tribe  to  tribe,  and  from  village  to  vil 
lage,  the  fearful  tidings  that  the  human  race  was  soon  to 
be  destroyed.  None  believed  his  words,  and  lived  on  in 
their  wickedness-  as  if  they  did  not  care,  and  the  seasons 
came  again  and  went.  Then  came  the  autumn  of  the  year, 
followed  by  many  succeeding  cloudy  days  and  nights,  dur 
ing  which  the  sun  by  day  and  the  moon  and  stars  by  night 
were  concealed  from  the  9arth  ;  then  succeeded  a  total  dark 
ness,  and  the  sun  seemed  to  have  been  blotted  out ;  while 

HISTORY    OF    THE   INDIANS.  283*, 

darkness  and  silence  with  a  cold  atmosphere  took  posses 
sion  of  earth.  Mankind  wearied  and  perplexed,  but  not  re 
penting-  or  reforming-,  slept  in  darkness  but  to  awake  in 
darkness  ;  then  the  mutterings  of  distant  thunder  began  to 
be  heard,  gradually  becoming  incessant,  until  it  reverbera 
ted  in  all  parts  of  .the  skv  and  seemed  to  echo  back  even  from 
the  deep  center  of  the  earth.  Then  fear  and  consternation 
seized  upon  every  heart  and  all  believed  the  sun  would  never 
return.  The  Magi  of  the  Choctaws  spoke  despondently  in 
reply  to  the  many  interrogations  of  the  alarmed  people,  and 
sang  their  death-songs  which  were  but  faintly  heard  in  the 
mingled  confusion  that  arose  amid  the  gloom  'of  the  night 
that  seemed  would  have  no  returning  morn.  Mankind  went 
from  place  to  place  only  by  torch-light ;  their  food  stored 
away  became  mouldy  and  unfit  for  use  ;  the  wild  animals  of 
the  forests  gathered  around  their  fires  bewildered  and  even 
entered  their  towns  and  villages,  seeming  to  have  lost  all 
fear  of  man.  Suddenly  a  fearful  crash  of  thunder,  louder 
than  ever  before  heard,  seemed  to  shake  the  earth,  and  im 
mediately  after  a  light  was  seen  glimmering  seemingly  far 
away  to  the  North.  It  was  soon  discovered  not  to  be  the 
light  of  the  returning-  sun,  but  the  gleam  of  great  waters  ad 
vancing-  in  mighty  billows,  wave  succeeding  wave  as  they  on 
ward  rolled  over  the  earth  destroying  everything-  in  their 
path . ' 

Then  the  wailing  cry  was  heard  coining  from  all  direc 
tions,  Oka  Falamah,  Oka  Falamah;  (The  returned  waters). 
Stretching"  from  horizon  to  horizon,  it  came  pouring-  its  mass 
ive  waters  onward.  "The  foundations  of  the  Great  Deep 
were  broken  up."  Soon  the  earth  was  entirely  overwhelmed 
by  the  mig-hty  and  irresistible  rush  of  the  waters  which  swept 
away  the  human  race  and  all  animals  leaving  the  earth  a  des 
olate  waste.  Of  all  mankind  only  one  was  saved,  and  that 
one  was  the  mysterious  prophet  who  had  been  sent  by  the 
Great  Spirit  to  warn  the  human  race  of  their  near  approach 
ing  doom.  This  prophet  saved  himself  by  making-  a  raft  of  " 
of  sassafras  log's  by  the  direction  of  the  Great  Spirit,  upon 
which  he  floated  upon  the  great  waters  that  covered  the 
earth,  as  various  kinds  of  fish  swam  around  him,  and  twined 
among-  the  branches  of  the  submerged  trees,  while  upon  the 
face  of  the  waters  he  looked  upon  the  dead  bodies  of  men 
and  beasts,  as  they  arose  and  fell  upon  the  heaving-  billows. 

After  many  weeks  floating  he  knew  not  where,  a  large 
black  bird  came  to  the  raft  flying  in  circles  above  his  head. 
He  called  to  it  for  assistance,  but  it  only  replied  in  loud, 
croaking  tones,  then  flew  away  and  was  seen  no  more.  A 
few  days  after  a  bird  of  bluish  color,  with  red  eyes  and  beak 

284  '     HISTORY  OF  THE  INDIANS. 

came  and  hovered  over  the  raft,  to  which  the. prophet  spoke 
and  asked  if  there  was  a  spot  of  dry  land  anywhere  to  be 
seen  in  the  wide  waste  of  waters.  Then  it  flew  around  his 
head  a  few  moments  fluttering  its  wing's  and  uttering"  a 
mournful  cry,  then  flew  away  in  the  direction  of  that  part  of 
the  sky  where  the  new  sun  seemed  to  be  sinking-  into  the 
rolling1  waves  of  the  great  ocean  of  waters.  Immediately  a 
strong-  wind  sprang  up  and  bore  the  raft  rapidly  in  that 
direction.  Soon  night  came  on,  and  the  moon  and  stars 
again  made  their  appearance,  and  the  next  morning'  the  sun 
arose  in  its  former  splendor;  and  the  prophet  looking  around 
saw  an  island  in  the  distance  toward  which  the  raft  was 
slowly  drifting,  and  before  the  sun  had  gone  down  seemingly 
again  into  the  world  of  waters,  the  raft  had  touched  the 
island  upon  which  he  landed  and  encamped,  and  being  wear 
ied  and  lonely  he  soon  forgot  his  anxieties  in  sleep;  and  when 
morning  came,  in  looking  around  over  the  island,  he  found  it 
covered  with  all  varieties  of  animals — excepting*  the  mam 
moth  which  had  been  destroyed.  He  also  found  birds  and 
fowls  of  every  kind  in  vast  numbers  upon  the  island;  and 
among  which  he  discovered  the  identical  black  bird  which 
had  visited  him  upon  the  waters,  and  then  left  him  to  his 
fate;  and,  as  he  regarded  it  a  cruel  bird, he  named  it  Fulushto 
(Raven) — a  bird  of  ill  omen  to  the  ancient  Choctaws. 

With  great  joy  he  also  discovered  the  bluish  bird  which 
had  caused  the  wind  to  blow  his  raft  upon  the  island,  and  be 
cause  of  this  act  of  kindness  and  its  great  beauty  he  called  it 
Puchi  Yushubah  (Lost  Pigeon). 

After  many  days  the  waters,  passed  away;  and  in  the 
course  of  time  Puchi  Yushubah  became  a  beautiful  woman, 
whom  the  prophet  soon  after  married,  and  by  them  the  world 
was  again  peopled. 

Whence  this  tradition  with  such  strong  resemblance  to 
the  account  of  the  deluge  as  given  in  the  Sacred  Scriptures? 
It  is  not  fiction  or  fable,  but  the  actual  tradition  of  the  ancient 
Choctaws  as  related  by  them  to  the/  missionaries  in  1818. 
Whence  this  knowledge  of  the  flood  of  the  Bible?  Does  one 
reply,  they  obtained  it  from  the  early  European  explorers 
of  the  continent?  Not  so;  for  the  earliest  explorers  speak  of 
.  the  North  American  Indians'  various  traditions  of  the  Flood. 
May  it  be  possible  that  their  ancestors,  far  back  in  the  early 
dawn  of  the  morn  of  Christian ty,  received  it  from  some  one 
or  more  of  the  apostles,  as  ours  did — the  ancient  Britons? 
Who  knows?  It  is  not  a  thing  impossible,  if  we  admit  they 
drifted  ages  ago  from  Asia's  shores  to  the  western  conti 
nent.  If  not,  whence  and  how  have  'they  this  knowledge  of 
the  flood? 


St.  Paul  himself  declares,  in  his  epistie  to  the  Galatians, 
that  soon  after  he  had  been  called  to  preach  Christianity 
among- the  heathen,  he  "went  into  Arabia."  The  dissen 
sions  which  arose  in  the  Eastern  church,  in  the  early  part  of 
the  third  century,  breaking-  it  up  into  sects,  drove  many  into 
exile  into  remote  parts  of  the  East,  and  planted  the  Chris 
tian  faith  among-  the  principal  tribes  of  that  region. 

Another  Choctaw  version  of  their  traditional  flood  (Oka- 
falama)  is  as  follows:  In  the  far  distant  ages  of  the  past, 
the  people,  whom  the  Great  Spirit  had  created,  became  so 
wicked  that  he  resolved  to  sweep  them  all  from  the  earth,  ex 
cept  Oklatabashih  (People's  .mourner)  and  his  family,  who 
alone  did  that  which  was  good.  He  told  Oklatabashih  to 
build  a  larg-e  boat  into  which  he  should  go  with  his  family 
and  also  to  take  into  the  boat  a  male  and  female  of  all  the  an 
imals  living-  upon  the  earth.  He  did  as  he  was  commanded 
by  the  Great  Spirit.  But  as  he  went  out  in  the  forests  to 
bring- in  the  birds  he  wras  unable  to  catch  a  pair  of  biskinik 
(sapsucker),  fitukhak  (yellow  hammer),  bak  bak.  (a  large 
red-headed  woodpecker);  as  these  birds  were  so  quick  in. 
hopping-  around  from  one  side  to  the  other  of  the  trees  upon 
which  they  clung-  with  their  sharp  and  strong  claws,  that 
Oklatabashih  found  it  was  impossible  for  him  to  catch  them, 
therefore  he  g-ave  up  the  chase,  and  returned  to  the  boat, 
and  the  door  closed,  the  rain  beg-an  to  fall  increasing-  in  vol 
ume  for  many  days  and  nights,  until  thousands  of  people  and 
animals  perished.  Then  it  suddenly  ceased  and  utter  dark 
ness  covered  the  face  of  the  earth  for  a  long"  time,  while,  the 
people  and  animals  that  still  survived  groped  here  and  there 
in  the  fearful  gloom.  Suddenly  far  in  the  distant  north  was 
seen  a  long-  streak  of  light.  They  believed  that,  amid  the 
raging  elements  and  the  impenetrable  darkness  that  covered 
the  earth,  the  sun  had  lost  its  way  and  was  rising  in  the 
north.  All  the  surviving  people  rushed  towards  the  seem 
ingly  rising  sun,  though  utterly  bewildered,  not  knowing 
or  caring  what  they  did.  But  well  did  Oklatabashih  in 
terpret  the  prophetic  sign  of  their  fast  approaching  doom. 
Instead  of  the  bright  dawn  of  another  long  wished-for  day, 
they  saw,  in  utter  despair,  that  it  was  but  the  mocking  light 
that  foretold  how  near  the  Okafalama  was  at  hand,  rolling 
like  mountains  on  mountains  piled  and  engulfing  everything 
in  its  resistless  course.  All  earth  was  at  once  overwhelmed 
in  the  mighty  return  of  waters,  except  the  great  boat  which, 
by  the  guidance  of  the  Great  Spirit,  rode  safely  upon  the 
rolling  and  dashing  waves  that  covered  the  earth.  During 
many  moons  the  boatfloated  safely  o'er  the  vast  sea  of  waters. 
Finally  Oklatabashih  sent  a  dove  to  see  if  any  dry  land  could 


be  found.  She  soon  returned  with  her  beak  full  of  grass, 
which  she  had  gathered  from  a  desert  island.  Oklatabashih 
to  reward  her  for  her  discovery  mingled  a  little  salt  in  her 
food.  Soon  after  this  the  waters  subsided  and  the  dry  land 
a-opeared;  then  the  inmates  of  the  great  boat  went  forth  to 
repeople  another  earth.  But  the  dove,  having  acquired  a 
taste  for  salt  during  her  stay  in  the  boat  continued  its  use 
by  finding  it  at  the  salt-licks  that  then  abounded  in  many 
places,  to  which  the  cattle  and  deer  also  frequently  resorted. 
Every  day  after  eating,  she  visited  a  salt-lick  to  eat  a  little 
salt  to  aid  her  digestion,  which  in  the  course  of  time  became 
habitual  and  thus  was  transmitted  to  her  offspring.  In  the, 
course  of  years,  she  became  a  grand-mother,  and  took  great 
delight  in 'feeding  and  caring  for  her  grand-children.  One 
day,  however,  after  having  eaten  some  grass  seed,  she  un 
fortunately  forgot  to  eat  a  little  salt  as  usual.  For  this 
neglect,  ,the  Great  Spirit  punished  her  and  her  descendants 
by  forbidding  them  forever  the  use  of  salt.  When  she  re 
turned  home  that  evening,  her  grand-children,  as  usual  be 
gan  to  coo  for  their  supply  of  salt,  but  their  grand-mother 
having  been  forbidden  to  give  them  any  more,  they  cooed  in 
vain.  From  that  day  to  this,  in  memory  of  this  lost  privil 
ege,  the  doves  everywhere,  on  the  return  of  spring,  still  con 
tinue  their  cooing  for  salt,  which  they  will  never  again  be 
permitted  to  eat.  Such  is  the  ancient  tradition  of  the  Choc- 
taws  of  the  origin  of  the  cooing  of  doves. 

But  as  to  the  fate  of  the  three  birds  who  eluded  capture 
by  Okjatabashih,  their  tradition-states  :  They  flew  high  in 
air  at  the  approach  of  Okafalama,  and,  as  the  waters  rose 
higher  and  higher,  they  also  flew  higher  and  higher  above 
the  surging  waves.  Finally,  the -waters  rose  in  near  prox 
imity  to  the. sky,  upon  which  they  lit  as  their  last  hope. 
Soon,  to  their  great  joy  and  comfort,  the  waters  ceased  to 
rise,  and  commenced  to  recede.  But  while  sitting  011  the 
sky  their  tails,  projecting  downward,  were  continually  being 
drenched  by  the  -dashing  spray  of  the  surging  waters  below, 
and  thus  the  end  of  their  tail  feathers  became  forked  and 
notched,  and  this  peculiar  shapfe  of  the  tails  of  the  biskinik, 
fitukhak  and  bakbak  has  been  transmitted  to  their  latest 
posterity.  But  the  sagacity  and  skill  manifested  by  these 
birds  in  eluding  the  grasp  of  Oklatabashih,.  so  greatly  de 
lighted  the  Great  Spirit  that  he  appointed  them  to  forever  be 
the  guardian  birds  of  the  red  men.  Therefore  these  birds, 
and  especially  the  biskinik,  often  made  their  appearance  in 
their  villages  on  the  eve  of  a  ball  play  ;  and,  whichever  one  of 
the  three  came,  it  twittered  in  happy  tones  its  feelings  of 
joy  in  anticipation  of  the  near  approach  of  the  Choctaws1 


favorite  game.  But  in  time  of  war  one  of  these  birds  al 
ways  appeared  in  the  camp  of  .a  war  party,  to  give  them 
warning-  of  approaching  danger,  by  its  constant  chirping 
and  hurried  flitting  from  place  to  place  around  their  camp. 
In  many  ways  did  these  birds  prove  their  love  for  and 
friendship  to  the  red  man,  and  he  ever  cherished  them  as 
the  loved  birds  of  his  race,  the  remembered  gift  of  the 
Great  Spirit  in  the  fearful  days  of  the  mighty  Okafalama. 

The  French  in  making  their  voyages  of  discovery   along 
the  coast  of  the  Gulf  of  Mexico  in  1712,   under   the    command 
of  Iberville,  anchored  one  evening  near  an  island  ('now  known 
as  Ship  Island)  which  they  discovered  to  be  intersected  with 
lagoons   and   inhabited   by   a   strange     and    peculiar   animal 
seemingly  to  hold  the  medium  between  the   fox  and  cat,   and 
they  give  it  the  name  Cat  Island,  by  which  it  is    still   known; 
thence  they  passed  over  the  main  land,  where  they  discovered 
a  tribe  of  Indians  called  Biloxi,  among  whom  they  afterwards 
located  a  town  and  gave  it  the  name   Biloxi — now   the   oldest 
town   in   the   State   of   Mississippi.     This    tribe   of   Indians 
proved  to  be  a  clan  of  the  Choctaws,  and  the   name   Biloxi,    a 
corruption  of  the  Choctaw  word  Ba-luh-chi,    signifying   hick 
ory  bark.     Thence  going'  eastward  they   discovered   another 
tribe  weich  they  called  the  Pascagoulas,   which    also   proved 
to  be  a  clan  of  the    Choctaws,    and   the   name   Pascagoula,   a 
corruption  of  the   two   Choctaw   words   Puska   (bread)   and 
Okla  (people),  i.  e:     Bread  People,    or   people   having   bread; 
but  which  has  been  erroneously  interpreted  to  mean  "Bread 
Eaters."     A  remnant  of  the  Ba-luh-chis  still  exist  among  the 
Choctaws,  while  the  Puskaoklas  have  been  long  lost  by   unit 
ing  with  other  Choctaw  clans.     There  was  an  ancient   tradi 
tion  among  the  Puskaoklas,  which  stated  that,    in   the   years 
long  past,  a  small  tribe  of  Indians  of  a  lighter  complexion  than 
themselves,  and  also  different  in  manners   and    customs,  ^in 
habited  the  country  near  the  mouth  of  the  Pascagoula   river r 
whose  ancestors,  according  to  the  tradition,   originally  emer 
ged  from  the  sea,  where  they  were  born;   that   they   were   a 
kind,  peaceful  and  inoffensive  people,  spending   their  time  in 
public  festivals  and  amusements  of  various  kinds;   that   they 
had  a  temple  in  which  they   worshiped   the   figure   of  a  Sea 
God;  every  night  when  the  moon  was  passing  from   its   cres 
cent  to  the  full,  they  gathered  around  the  figure  playing  upon 
instruments  and  singing  and  dancing,  thus   rendering   hom 
age  to  the  Sea  God.     That  shortly   after   the   destruction   of 
Mobilla  (now  Mobile,  Alabama,)  in  1541,    by   De   Soto,    there 
suddenly  appeared  among  the  Sea  God   worshippers  a   white 
man  with  a  long,  gray  beard,  flowing  garments   and    bearing 
a  large  cross  in  his  right  hand;  that  he  took  from  his   bosom 



a  book,  and,  after  kissing-  it  again  and  again,  he  began  to  ex 
plain  to  them  what  was  contained  in  it;  that  they  listened 
attentively  and  were  fast  being-  converted  to  its  teaching's 
when  a  fearful  catastrophy  put  an  end  to  all.  One  night, 
when  the  full  moon  was  at  its  zenith,  there  came  a  sudden 
rising  of  the  waters  of  the  river,  which  rolled  in  mighty 
waves  along  its  channel;  on  the  crest  of  thefoamingwaterssat 
a  woman,  with  magnetic  eyes,  singing  in  a  tone  of  voice  that 
fascinated  all;  that  the  white  man,  followed  by  the  entire 
tribe,  rushed  to  the  bank  of  the  stream  in  wild  amazement, 
when  the  siren  at  once,  modulated'  her  voice  to  still  more 
fascinating  tones,  chanting  a  mystic  song  with  the  oft 
repeated  chorus,  "Come  to  me,  come  to  me,  children  of  the 
sea!  Neither  book  nor  cross,  from  your  queen,  shall  win  ye;" 
Soon,  an  Indian  leaped  into  the  still  raging  waters,  followed 
by  the  remainder  in  rapid  succession,  all  disappearing  as 
they  touched  the  water,  when  a  loud  and  exultant  laugh  was 
heard,  and  then  the  waters  returned  to  their  usual  level  and 
quiet  leaving  no  trace  of  their  former  fury;  the  white  man 
was  left  alone,  and  soon  died  of  grief  and  loneliness. 


It  is  stated  of  the  Papagoes,  (known  as  the  short-haired 
Indians  of  the  Southwest)  that  an  ancient  tradition  of  their 
tribe  proclaims  the  coming  of  a  Messiah  by  the  name  "Moc- 
tezuma."  They  affirm  that,  in  the  ancient  past,  he  lived  in 
Casa  Grande,  the  famous  prehistoric  temple  on  the  Gila 
river;  that  his  own  people  rebelled  against  him  and  threaten 
ed  to  kill  him,  and  he  fled7  to  Mexico.  But  before  leaving 
them  he  told  them  that  they  would  experience  great  afflic 
tions  for  many  years,  but  eventually,  at  the  time  of  their 
greatest  need,  he  would  return  to  them  from  the  east  with 
the  rising  sun;  that  he  would  then  cause  the  rain  to  fall  again 
upon  their  arid  country,  and  make  it  bloom  as  a  garden,  and 
make  his  people  to  become  the  greatest  on  earth.  There 
fore,  when  Moctezuma  arrives,  that  he  may  see  all  the  doors 
open  and  none  closed  against  him,  this  humble  people,  with 
a  pathetic  faith,  make  the  only  entrance  to  their  houses 
toward  the  east  and  leave  the  door  always  standing  open 
that  their  Messiah  may  enter  when  he  comes.  During  the 
years  1891,  1892  and  1893,  a  three  years'  drouth  had  destroy 
ed  their  crops,  dried  up  their  water,  cut  off  their  supply  of 
seeds,  and  killed  great  numbers  of  their  cattle.  Truly  it 
was  the  time  of  their  greatest  suffering,  and  surely  Mocte 
zuma  would  now  come  to  their  rescue;  and  it  was  enough  to 
move  the  heart  of  the  most  obdurate  infidel,  to  see  the  people. 


ascending-  just  before  sunrise  to  the  top  of  the  surrounding- 
hills  and  look  anxiously  toward  the  rising-  sun  for  Moctezu- 
ma,  until  disappointment  usurped  the  place  of  hope,  and 
one  by  one,  each  returned  patiently  to  his  house,  but  to 
hope  on. 

Christianity,  it  is  said,  dates  back  from  the  return  of 
the  Hellenist  Jews  and  proselytes  from  "Egypt  and  the 
parts  of  Libya  about  Cyrene,"  who  heard  St.  Peter  preach 
on  the  day  of  Pentecost. 

It  is  well  known  that,  in  the  history  of  the  early  church, 
no  city  is  more  famous  than  Alexandria.  From  that  city 
came  Apollos  ;  there,  too,  Mark,  the  evangelist,  is  said  to 
have  preached  ;  and  from  it  Pantemusas  was  sent  as  a  mis 
sionary  to  India  ;  in  it  also  dwelt  Clement,  Athanasius  and 
Origin.  Carthage  and  Hippo  have  given  to  the  world  the 
names  of  Cyprian,  Tertullian  and  Augustine.  In  the  fifth 
century  there  were  560  Bishoprics  in  North  Africa.  The 
Coptic  church  in  Egypt,  and  its  daughter  church  in  Abys 
sinia  which  still  survive,  though  in  corrupted  state,  while  of 
the  ancient  North'  African  church,  not  a  vestige,  it  is  said, 
remains,  being  wholly  swept  away  by  Mohammedism  in  the 
seventh  century. 

May  not  the  ancestors  of  the  North  American  Indians 
have  dwelt  in  some  of  those  regions  of  country  in  which  the 
gospel  was  preached  by  those  ancient  missionaries?  and 
also  have  been  among  those  of  the  early  Christians  who  fled 
before  the  persecutions  of  the  Turk  and  Tartar,  and  cross 
ed  over  to  this  continent  by  way  of  Behring  Strait,  or  the 
fabled  sunken  continent  Atlantis  (if  it  ever  existed),  bring 
ing  with  them  the  many  Asiatic  characteristics  they  possess 
in  their  manners  and  customs  and  religious  ceremonies,  and 
their  traditional  knowledge  of  the  flood?  But  alas!  upon 
this  we  can  but  conjecture,  there  we  can  but  begin  and  there 
we  have  to  end. 

The  belief  of  the  ancient  Choctaws  in  regard  to  the 
eclipses  of  the  sun  was  not  more  inconsistent,  than  that  of 
an}r  portion  of  the  human  family,  whose  minds  had  never 
been  enlightened  by  the  rays  of  spiritual  light  from  the  gos 
pel  of  the  Son  of  God.  The  Romans}  the  Celtics,  the  Asia 
tics,  the  Finns  of  Europe,  and,  110  doubt,  Britons,  too,  all 
had  their  views  in  regard  to  eclipses  as  absurd  as  the  Choc- 
taws.  The  Choctaws,  as  before  stated,  attributed  an  eclipse 
of  the  sun  to  a  black  squirrel,  whose  eccentricities  often  led 
it  into  mischief,  and,  among  other  things,  that  of  trying-  to 
eat  up  the  sun  at  different  intervals.  When  thus  inclined, 
they  believed,  which  was  confirmed  by  long  experience,  that 
the  only  effective  means  to  prevent  so  fearful  a  catastrophe 

•  -' 


befalling-  the  world  as  the'~blotting  out  of  that  indispensable 
luminary,  was  to  favor  the  little,  black  epicure  with  a  first- 
class  scare;  therefore,  whenever  he  manifested  an  inclination 
to  indulge  in  a  meal  on  the  sun,  every  ingenuity  was  called 
into  requisition  to  give  him  a  genuine  fright  that  he  would 
be  induced,  at  least,  to  postpone  his  meal  on  the  sun  at  that 
particular  time  and  seek  a  lunch  elsewhere.  As  soon,  there 
fore,  as  the  sun  began  to  draw  its  lunar  veil  over  its  face, 
the  cry  was  heard  from  every  mouth  from  the  Dan  to  the 
Beersheba  of  their  then  wide  extended  territory,  echo 
ing  from  hill  to  dale,  "Funi  lusa  hushi  umpa!  Funi  lusa 
hushi  umpa,"  according  to  our  phraseology,  The  black  squir 
rel  is  eating  the  sun!  Then  and  there  was  heard  a  sound  of 
tumult  by  day  in  the  Choctaw  Nation  for  the  space  of  an 
hour  or  two,  far  exceeding  that  said  to  have  been  heard  by 
night  in  Belgium's  Capital,  and  sufficient  in  the  conglomera 
tion  of  discordant  tones  terrific,  if  heard  by  the  distant, 
little,  fastidious  squirrel,  to  have  made  him  lose  forever 
afterward  all  relish  for  a  mess  of  suns  for  an  early  or  late 
dinner.  The  shouts  of  the  women  and  children  mingling 
with  the  ringing  of  discordant  bells  as  the  vociferous  pound 
ing  and  beating  of  ear-splitting  tin  pans  and  cups  mingling 
in  "wild  confusion  worse  confounded,"  yet  in  sweet  unison 
with  a  first-class  orchestra  of  yelping,  howling,  barking 
dogs  gratuitously  thrown  in  by  the  innumerable  and  highly 
excited  curs,  produced  a  din,  which  even  a  "Funi  lusa,"  had 
he  heard  it,  could  scarcely  have  endured  even  to  have  in 
dulged  in  a  nibble  or  two  of  the  sun,  though  urged  by  the 
demands  of  a  week's  fasting. 

But  during  the  wild  scene  the  m^n  were  not  idle  specta 
tors,  or  indifferent  listeners.  Each  stood  a  few  paces  in 
front  of  his  cabin  door,  with  no  outward  manifestation  of 
excitement  whatever — so  characteristic  of  the  Indian  war 
rior — but  with  his  trusty  rifle  in  hand,  which  so  oft  had 
proved  a  friend  sincere  in  many  hours  of  trial,  which  he 
loaded  and  fired  in  rapid  succession  at  the  distant,  devastat 
ing  squirrel,  with  the  same  coolness  and  calm  deliberation 
that  he  did  when  shooting  at  his  game.  More  than  once  have 
I  witnessed  the  fearful  yet  novel  scene.  When  it  happened 
to  be  the  time  of  a  total  eclipse  of  the  sun,  a  sufficient  evi 
dence  that  the  little,  black  epicure  meant  business  in  regard 
to  having  a  square  meal,  though  it  took  the  whole  sun  to  fur 
nish  it,  -then  indeed  there  were  sounds  of  revelry  and  tumult 
unsurpassed  by  any  ever  heard  before,  either  in  "Belgium" 
or  elsewhere.  Then  the  women  shrieked  and  redoubled 
their  efforts  upon  the  tin  p,ans,  which,  under  the  desperate 
blows,  strained  every  vocal  organ  to  do  its  utmost  and  whole 


duty  in  loud  response,  while  the  excited  children  screamed 
-and  beat  their  tin  cups,  and  the  sympathetic  dogs  (whose 
name  was  legion)  barked  and  howled — all  seemingly  deter 
mined  not  to  fall  the  one  behind  other  in  their  duty — since 
the  occasion  demanded  it ;  while  the  warriors  still  stood,  in 
profound  and  meditative  silence,  but  firm  and  undaunted,  as 
they  quickly  loaded  and  fired  their  rifles,  each  time  taking- 
deliberative  aim,  if  perchance  the  last  shot  might  prove  the 
•successful  one  ;  then,  as  the  moon's  shadow  began  to  move 
from  the  disk  of  the  sun,  the  joyful  shout  was  heard  above 
the  mighty  din  Funi-lusa-osh  mahlatah  !  The  black  squirrel 
is  frightened.  But  the  din  remained  unabated  until  fhe  sun 
again  appeared  in  its  usual  splendor,  and  all  nature  again 
.assumed  its  harmonious  course  ;  then  quiet  below  again  as 
sumed  its  sway,  while  contentment  and  happiness  resumed 
their  accustomed  place  in  the  hearts  of  the  grateful  Choc- 
taws — grateful  to  the  Great  Spirit  who  had  given  them  the 
victory.  But  the  scene  of  a  total  eclipse  of  the  sun  in  the 
•Choctaw  Nation  in  those  ancient  years  must  be  witness 
ed  to  be  justly  comprehended  by  the  lover  of  the  romantic, 
and  heard  by  the  highly  sensitive  ear  to  be  fully  appreciated 
and  enjoyed. 

On  the  road  leading  from  St.  Stephens  then  a  little  town 
in  Alabama,  near  which  was  the  home  of  the  renowned  Choc- 
taw  Chief  Apushamata  hahubi  in  1812,  to  the  city  of  Jackson, 
Mississippi,  stood  the  mound  Nunih  Waiyah  erected  by  the 
Choctaws  in  commemoration  of  their  migration,  as  has  been 
previously  stated,  from  a  country  far  to  the  west  to  their 
homes  east  of  the  Mississippi  river,  where  they  were  first 
known  to  the  Europeans.  I  read  an  article  published  some 
years  ago  in  a  newspaper,  which  stated  that  an  ancient  tra 
dition  of  the  Choctaws  affirmed  that  they  derived  their 
origin  from  Nunih  Waiyah,  their  ancestors  swarming  from 
the  hole  on  the  top  as  bees  swarming  from  the  hive  in  sum 
mer,  and  thus  was  that  part  of  the  world  peopled  with  Choc 
taws.  The  Choctaws  did  not  so  state  their  origin  to  the 
early  missionaries  of  1818.  They  always  have  claimed  their 
origin  from  a  country  far  to  the  West,  and  the  above  men 
tioned  tradition  with  all  its  absurdities,  so  numerous  in  the 
writings  of  the  majority  of  those  of  the  present  age,  who, 
having  nothing  more,  clothe  their  nominal  Indian  in  myths 
and  hide  him  in  impenetrable  fogs,  had  its  origin  in"  the 
prolific  brain  of  the  writer,  who  assumes  to  be  gifted  with  a 
vivid  imagination,  even  as  his  congenial  fellow  writers  of  the 
present  day  when  getting  up  a  "send-off"  upon  the  Indians; 
and  who  imagine  themselves  wiser  than  even  seven  men  who 
can  render  a  reason,  though  they  have  advanced  no  further 


in  Indian  lore  than  the  widely  circulated  '  hear-say '& 
elementary  spelling-book;  and,  having-  learned  all  there  is  to- 
be  known  in  that  branch  of  historical  information,  they  feel 
themselves  incapable  of  receiving-  any  further  instruction 
in  regard  to  the  North  American  Indian  characteristics,, 
from  any  source  whatever,  yet  they  are  lacking  in  one  very 
essential  thing;  i.  e.  Not  to